Genomics and Society

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-10-30
  • Publisher: Routledge

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The impact of genomics on society has been the focus of debate and conflict across the world. Contrasting views of risks and benefits, trust in science and regulation, the understanding of science, media coverage and mobilization of the public by civil society groups all have been cited as drivers of public opinion. The long running controversy is a signal that the public's view cannot be ignored in the development and implementation of new technologies arising out of genomics such as agricultural biotechnologies, genetic testing and the uses of genetic information, the cloning of human cells and tissues and transgenic animals. Written by a progressive international group of social scientists from Europe, North America and Japan, this volume presents a series of comparative perspectives on the social, ethical and legal implications of genomics. The result is a book which encapsulates the lessons to be learned from the controversies of the 1990s and raises the level of debate on the societal implications of new developments in genomics.

Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables and Boxesp. viii
List of Contributorsp. x
Acknowledgementsp. xiv
List of Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. xv
The Genomic Society and its Public: Introductionp. 1
Emerging Issues and Debatesp. 7
Dilemmas of Genetic Informationp. 9
What is genetic information?p. 9
Uses of genetic information in the European contextp. 12
Particularities of genetic informationp. 18
Power and hierarchy: The lay-expert dividep. 22
Limitations of genetic prediction and intergenerational responsibilityp. 23
Some paradoxes by way of conclusionp. 25
Spare Parts for Human Bodiesp. 28
A common horizonp. 30
Different stories in different countriesp. 32
Controversy and debatep. 40
Moving the Goalposts in Bioethicsp. 44
Institutionalization of bioethics in Europep. 45
Future directionsp. 55
Whom to Trust with Genes on the Menu?p. 60
The public perception of GM foodp. 61
Trust in information sourcesp. 62
The formation of attitudes on GM foodp. 65
Methodsp. 67
Resultsp. 69
Complexities in message receptionp. 70
The Efficacy of Public Opinionp. 75
Public Mobilization and Policy Consequencesp. 77
Policy shift and the moratoriump. 78
Possible explanations for the policy shiftp. 79
The concept of public outragep. 79
The role of public outrage in policy shiftp. 80
Public outrage or mobilizationp. 87
Mobilization as a social constructp. 89
Demobilizationp. 90
The Coming of Age of Public Participationp. 95
The trajectory of biotechnology and its applications and the role of publicsp. 96
The institutionalization of public participation?p. 98
Features of institutionalization of public participationp. 100
The road to institutionalizationp. 103
Whither institutionalization?p. 108
Issue Salience and Media Framing over 30 Yearsp. 113
The role of the Media in the formation of public opinionp. 114
News values and the relative autonomy of the mass mediap. 117
Changes in salience and framing of biotechnology over the yearsp. 119
The impact of the mediap. 125
The Politics of Bioethicsp. 131
The derivation of a scientific discoveryp. 131
Restoration to immortality: The promise of a regenerative medicinep. 135
Playing God? Old ethical concerns in new voicesp. 137
Adult stem cells as Nature's own solution?p. 138
Therapeutic cloning as humankind's techno-fix?p. 141
The political ethics of human embryonic stem cellsp. 142
The Monster in the Public Imaginationp. 150
Matters out of place, monsters and monstrosityp. 150
The ever-changing monsterp. 151
Monsters in newspaper photographs and cartoons about biotechnologyp. 152
Imagining genetic hybrids: Blended essence and emergent monstrosityp. 159
The contemporary message of monstersp. 162
Global Perspectivesp. 169
Towards a Global Pop Culture of Genes?p. 171
The value of popular culturep. 172
Jurassic Parkp. 173
Genetic realities: Fish and sportsp. 175
Popular culture in the newsp. 178
No clear winners or losersp. 181
Competing Voices, Contrasting Frames in North Americap. 186
Attentive and engaged publicsp. 186
Understanding other audiencesp. 188
Media messages and gene technologiesp. 191
Rethinking audiencesp. 193
Transatlantic Tensions over GM Crops and Foods: Diverging perspectivesp. 197
The climate of public opinionp. 199
What drives the perception of risks and benefitsp. 204
Conclusionsp. 208
The Japanese Experiencep. 212
The development of mass mediated discoursep. 212
The law on cloning 2001: The regulatory discoursep. 218
The discourse of everyday conversationsp. 222
Cross-cultural similaritiesp. 224
Paradoxes of Resistance in Brazilp. 228
Climates of opinion and the public debatep. 229
Resistance: Local failure - global successp. 238
Conclusions: Explaining Brazilian paradoxesp. 242
Indexp. 250
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