The role of the scientific imagination in shaping the world to come is today uncertain as the great leaps forward . . . have revived old doubts and raised new fears about the human condition under the regime of reason. . . science is under attack both from religious extremists on the right who argue stem-cell research violates the sanctity of life as well as from "post-intelligent intellectuals" of the academic left who view science not as the discovery of objective reality through observation, but as a "social construction."