The idea of being able to control and perfect nature has long been a theme in science fi ction and other popular imagery. In 1932, Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, portrayed a future where science is applied for improving the quality of life and achieving universal happiness. In the story, scientifi c knowledge is the ‘highest good’, serving ‘Man’ in overcoming the constraints of nature, in order to alleviate human suffering, which had been previously seen as ‘God-given’ or pre-ordained. Progress is measured by the ability to manufacture life. Huxley’s story has proved highly insightful, with efforts to control ‘nature’ through processes of standardisation, normalisation, and industrialisation, characterising how the life sciences are practiced today.