Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, recently committed himself to donating $750 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation charity. Using a lot of messianic words, the richest man in the world is more and more presenting himself as the saviour of the world. Maarten Vanheuverswyn looks at the reality behind the phrases and takes a look at his company Microsoft and its predatory tactics.

We publish two letters reacting to the recently published article Bill Gates, saviour of the world?. We seize the opportunity to call on left-wing programmers and anti-capitalist people with an interest in computer technology in general all over the world to get in touch.

Quantum mechanics has given scientists and engineers a new and deeper understanding of physical reality. It explains the behaviour of electrons, atoms and molecules, the nature of chemical reactions, how light interacts with matter, the evolution of stars, the bio-chemistry of life and the evolution of mankind itself. Despite its successes it remains an intensely controversial theory. It suggests that very small objects such as electrons or photons behave in ways that contradict the common sense ideas. Yet many scientists to this day refuse to accept the fact that contradiction is an essential part of all matter.

According to Monsanto, the American multinational currently making vast profits out of genetically modified food, the future's so bright that they could genetically modify us to wear shades! Joking apart, there is a serious issue here. Are GM foods safe?

Heiko Khoo looks at the history of the internet and the relevance of issues like open source programming for socialists.

Sewage-fed cows, "mad cows", dioxin contaminated chickens, hormone injected cattle, genetically modified Soya, animal carcasses used to make animal feed, contaminated mineral water and Coca- Cola. A common thread runs through all these cases: the search for the highest profits on the part of the food industry to the detriment of everybody's health. Michele Fabbri, Italian Marxist magazine Falce Martello.

Genetic engineering has come upon the world with a rush, accompanied by the usual claims of being a way of feeding the earth's poor and removing want. However these claims need to examined in the light of what has actually been done to date, and what is planned for the future. In fact the impetus for the development of genetic engineering, namely the rapid pursuit of maximum profits and futher control of world agriculture runs counter to the stated aims as well as encouraging unsafe science.

Science is big business, and none more so than genetics. The Human Genome Project, the deciphering of the make up of human DNA has already resulted in some startling breakthroughs. But, while our scientific understanding of life attempts to race ahead, once again we find ourselves hemmed in by the enormous waste of capitalism. In this field, as in any other, competition plus profit equals waste.

We reprint this article by John Pickard which reviews Engels contribution to the understanding of human development and specifically his pamphlet The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man.

On June 26 this year Clinton and Blair made a joint statement saying that the human genome had been sequenced. Rikard Erlandsson looks at the scientific implications of this development.

Once every century or so great scientific breakthroughs grip the imagination of the world. With the publication of the results of the human genome project, we stand on the threshold of such a breakthrough. Science is now poised to understand the forces behind evolution, explode racial myths, change the way doctors diagnose disease, and try to help people live longer. The new approach - looking at systems of genes rather than individual genes - will transform biologists' view of the human body. Alan Woods explains how this discovery proves amongst other things that there is no scientific ground for racism or genetic determinism, and analyses the significance of this discovery from a socialist point of view.

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Revolution 2018 - a three-day festival of Marxist ideas

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Calendar: In Defence of Marxism
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Revolution 2018 - a three-day festival of Marxist ideas
Revolution 2018 is a three-day festival of Marxist ideas, hosted by Socialist Appeal, In Defence...
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