How japanese students reason about agricultural biotechnology

Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (4):705-716 (2004)

Abstract
Many have claimed that education of the ethical issues raised by biotechnology is essential in universities, but there is little knowledge of its effectiveness. The focus of this paper is to investigate how university students assess the information given in class to make their own value judgments and decisions relating to issues of agricultural biotechnology, especially over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Analysis of homework reports related with agricultural biotechnology after identification of key concepts and ideas in each student report is presented. The ideas were sorted into different categories. The ideas were compared with those in the reading materials using the same categories. These categories included: concern about affects on humans, affects on the environment, developing countries and starvation, trust in industry, responsibility of scientists, risk perception, media influence, need for (international) organizations or third parties, and information dissemination. What was consistent through the different years was that more than half of the students took a “neutral” position. A report was scored as “neutral” when the report included both the positive and negative side of an issue, or when the student could not make a definite decision about the use of GMOs and GM food. While it may be more difficult to defend a strong “for” or “against” position, some students used logical arguments successfully in doing so. Sample comments are presented to depict how Japanese students see agricultural technology, and how they value its application, with comparisons to the general social attitudes towards biotechnology.
Keywords GM food  GMOs  bioethics  bioethics education  decision-making  student opinion
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-004-0048-y
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4.5. High School Bioethics Education Network in Japan.Yukiko Asada & Darryl Macer - forthcoming - Bioethics in Asia: The Proceedings of the Unesco Asian Bioethics Conference (Abc'97) and the Who-Assisted Satellite Symposium on Medical Genetics Services, 3-8 Nov, 1997 in Kobe/Fukui, Japan, 3rd Murs Japan International Symposium, 2nd Congress of the Asi.
Attitudes to Biotechnology in Japan in 2003.Masakazu Inaba & Darryl Macer - 2003 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 13 (3):78-90.

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