Introduction: Reproductive Technologies and Imagined Futures

  • Gayle DavisEmail author
  • Tracey Loughran


This section introduction considers some of the ethical debates generated by the creation of new reproductive technologies, and places these in historical perspective. It contrasts ethical debates which have shaped the development of research science and access to new technologies with literary and philosophical imaginings of the potential implications of reproductive technologies and what these might mean for infertile women and non-fertile couples. In doing so, it underlines the extent to which debates on infertility have always been grounded not only in current concerns, but have involved imagined futures for individuals and societies. The chapters in this section show that our reproductive futures are likely to remain bound not merely by our scientific capabilities, but by our social values. The ‘right’ to reproduce will remain mediated by complex and historically contingent factors. The troubled historical relationship between (wo)man, technology, and modernity is likely to remain a dominant trope, in media representations as much as our imaginations

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of HistoryUniversity of EssexColchesterUnited Kingdom

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