Social genomics: Genomic inventions in society

Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (4):485-496 (2002)
This paper identifies several kinds of intellectual mistakes that proponents of genetic engineering make, in defending their views and characterizing the views of their opponents. Results from research in the social sciences and humanities illuminate the nature of these mistakes. The mistakes themselves play a role in allowing proponents to gather support from other protagonists in the social controversies involving science and technology. Understanding the controversies requires understanding that innovations are components of complex and ill-structured social problems; the “right answer” does not follow from scientific or technological breakthroughs. If the problems are identified correctly, issues of non-economic or non-market values and political and individual rights will need to be addressed.
Keywords ethics  risk  and genetically modified food  ethical and social dimensions of innovation  labeling controversies  approaching complex and ill-structured social problems
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-002-0002-9
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