Tony Smith
University of Georgia
Agricultural biotechnology is a social pursuit, undertaken by social agents within social institutions.1 Any attempt to explore the social dimensions of a profound and complex technological development such as biotechnology is bound to be controversial, and any attempt to formulate an ethical assessment of such a development is bound to be yet more complex and controversial. This surely explains why many choose to ignore these inquiries. But the social dimensions of biotechnology are just as real as viruses, bacteria, enzymes, and cells. To refuse to investigate them with the same seriousness that viruses, bacteria, enzymes and cells are investigated is to place an arbitrary restriction on the scope of rational inquiry.
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Theory of Medicine/Bioethics   Evolutionary Biology   Plant Sciences   Agricultural Economics
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1009591404688
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