Science, Technology, and Human Responsibility

A Publication of The Nature Institute
Editor: Stephen L. Talbott (

The NetFuture email newsletter, begun in 1995, is fully archived here. These archives contain a vast range of commentary on many aspects of science, technology, and society. You will find convenient access to all these contents via the topical index, as well as the other routes listed under “Guide to the Site” below. See what others have said about Netfuture.

Please Note:

This is an archived site. New material is not currently being posted or indexed here on the NetFuture website. All articles since June 2013 are available via the website, which is a portal for The Nature Institute’s “Biology Worthy of Life” project.

In addition, there is a comprehensive overview of the Biology Worthy of Life project, and also a detailed index to all the project content. Finally, Stephen Talbott’s latest book — Organisms and Their Evolution: Agency and Meaning in the Drama of Life — is freely available online at

What is the new content about?

NetFuture was for many years focused on technology and its social implications. Newer writings (on the “Biology Worthy of Life” — website) are directed more toward the problems of a science influenced by visions of technology, as when biologists conceive organisms on the model of the machine. In particular, most articles are currently dealing with issues in genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and the nature of the organism. The aim is to overcome the limitations of the naïve nineteenth-century materialism that still dominates biological thinking.

The aim, in other words, is to find a more living approach to the dynamism, plasticity, and intentionality of the organism. Organisms are creatures of directed striving — agents pursuing their own meaningful ways of being — and their activity is a kind of speaking. But while these central features are often implicit in biological descriptions, a recognition of them has yet to transform the deeply-rooted, mechanistic thought habits of the biologist.

The editor of NetFuture since its beginning has been Stephen L. Talbott (, currently a senior researcher at The Nature Institute. For a guide to all his writings, you can visit his home page.

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Steve Talbott :: NetFuture — Science, Technology, and Human Responsibility