The Future is Now
Genetic Promises and Speculative Finance

by Sarah Sexton

first published 19 October 2011

This book chapter in Global Health Watch 3: An Alternative World Health Report explores some of the parallels, connections and disjunctures between the worlds of biotechnology research and development (R&D) and of high finance, particularly the promised genetic revolution in medicine and health, and the crash of financial capital in 2008.

Reflection on the past three decades of speculative financial and biotech futures and their moment of (near) collapse illuminates several known insights for pursuing public health futures and finances that are usually kept in the dark or conveniently forgotten.

Global Health Watch is designed to seek answers to why so little progress is being made in promoting health across the world and also to articulate solutions. It proposes an alternate vision of health located in a vision of equity, rights and empowerment while drawing attention to the politics of global health and the policies and actions of key actors.