Science Gone Awry

As seen elsewhere in this exhibit, science is a tool that we use to solve problems. However, sometimes scientific experimentation and inquiry are less tools and more a set of double-edged swords, that cut and wound rather than repair. After all, it has been humanity’s untrammeled technological and industrial development that has resulted in massive environmental change in the first place. 

The purchase of the North Pole : a sequel to From the earth to the Moon
The robot scientist's daughter
Where late the sweet birds sang

Science fiction is rife with examples of science gone awry, all the way back to the first true novel of the genre, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus (1818). SF stories of the pulp era and 1950s films would be impossible to imagine without tales of mad scientists seeking out What Man Was Not Meant To Know and causing widespread destruction via irradiated insects or killer robots. In more recent literature, the advent of phenomena like genetic engineering, increasingly powerful computers, and artificial intelligence has allowed for different kinds of stories about how scientific achievement can breed environmental disaster.

Galaxy science fiction: [December 1959 issue]
No blade of grass
Amazing science fiction [August 1973 issue]: To walk with thunder
pH : a novel
Under the Empyrean sky