In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
), the Human Genome Project is a Secret Project
. It may be built at a cost of 180 minerals, on discovery of Biogenetics
(D1), and provides one additional Talent
at each of your bases. While it's a pretty good buy, the Human Genome Project is somewhat superfluous at lower difficulty levels, and likely to be built by a rival faction before you can afford it at higher difficulties.
How useful is this? In simplified terms, base population is simulated as a number of Citizens; by default, these Citizens are Workers. At some population level determined by the game difficulty setting, new citizens will be Drones. They tend to riot, halting base production (at best). To prevent a Drone Riot condition in a given base, there must be at least one Talent per Drone. Each 2 energy units allocated to Psych makes one Worker into a Talent, but that's energy diverted from income and research. So the Human Genome Project is like two free energy units, per turn, per base in your faction.
It seems fitting to me that the opening turns of a science fiction game should recapitulate our actual cutting-edge technological achievements; SMAC has a strong theme of ecology and human potential, and the Human Genome Project works well as a Secret Project in that context.
Secret Project animation narrative:
"To map the very stuff of life; to look into the genetic mirror and watch a million generations march past. That, friends, is both our curse and our proudest achievement. For it is in reaching to our beginnings that we begin to learn who we truly are."
-- Academician Prokhor Zakharov,
"Address to the Faculty"