Archive for April 14th, 2016


What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club by Gregory Pence

(Excerpt from Goodreads) What is the real-world history and science of human cloning, and does Orphan Black get it right? Can you “own” a person—even a cloned one? How can Sarah Manning be straight, Cosima gay, and Tony trans? Cult hit sci-fi show Orphan Black doesn’t just entertain—it also raises fascinating questions about human cloning, its ethics, and its impact on personal identity.

In What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club: Bioethics and Philosophy in Orphan Black, prominent bioethicist Gregory E. Pence violates Clone Club’s first rule to take us deeper into the show and its connections to the real world, including:

Widespread myths about human clones (and Orphan Black’s rejection of them)
Our ugly history of eugenics
The ethics of human experimentation, by way of Projects Castor and Leda
What we can learn about clones and identity from twin studies and tensions among Orphan Black’s clone “sisters”
Kendall Malone and other genetic anomalies
The brave new world of genetic enhancement and clonal dynasties, and how Helena and Kira Manning fit in

In the process, What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club reveals why Orphan Black is some of today’s most engaging and thought-provoking television.

Gregory E. Pence

Gregory Pence

Gregory E. Pence is a professor in the department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). An n expert in bioethics, he has written several books and has testified before the United States Congress and the California Senate about cloning and reproductive ethics.
He graduated from Wheaton High School in Glenmont, Md and cum laude in 1970 with a B.S. from William and Mary and a Ph.D. in 1974 from New York University, writing under visiting Australian bioethicist Peter Singer.
Professor Pence also directs UAB’s competitive Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) and taught ethics for thirty-four years at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In 2006, Samford University awarded him a Pellegrino Medal for achievement in medical ethics. He retired from teaching in the medical school in 2011, but he continues teaching in the UAB Department of Philosophy, which he began to Chair in the summer of 2012.
His most-known work has labeled him as a rebel in the scientific community. As displayed in his many books on the subject of cloning (Who’s Afraid of Cloning, etc.), he is one of the few bioethicists who believe in human cloning. He believes that human cloning should not be banned but rather accepted in modern society as a medical marvel. His opinion is illustrated in his many papers and books about the theory and future of human cloning.
His textbook, “Medical Ethics”, is one of the field’s standard texts.
At UAB, Pence has won several teaching awards. In 2010, he coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and in 2011, he coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Bioethics Bowl at the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference at Duke University.

Watch one of Dr. Pence’s talks at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO2EptRQdIY


My Review

5 stars

With the popularity of the television series Orphan Black, Gregory Pence has written about cloning. Gregory discussed many things from the ethics of creating clones, our fears, anomalies, identities, and the future of clones. Since Dolly, the first cloned sheep, everyone seems to have one opinion or another on clones. I feel that most people feel threatened by them in one sense or another, from what kind of a person/human being will they be to how they threaten the idea of being human from birth instead of coming from a laboratory.

This book goes the distance for discussing each possible aspect of how clones can affect use. There is so much information and examples through the book to keep it from becoming dry. I really like how it ties back into the Orphan Black series, the season premier is today. That helps to keep me that much more interested.

I admit that I have wanted to watch Orphan Black but have not gotten around to it. After reading this book I will definitely be starting Orphan Black. If you like this series I recommend you get a copy of this book. You will NOT be disappointed.

To purchase What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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