Precaution is arguably one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented issues in the global politics of science and technology [especially agricultural biotechnology, i.e. GM crops and foods]. Misunderstood, because precaution is so often wrongly asserted to be unscientific or anti-technology. Misrepresented, because a large part of the resulting stigma can be a systematic – even deliberate – effect of power.
Precaution does not necessarily mean a ban. It simply urges that time and space be found to get things right.
Far from the pessimistic caricature, precaution actually celebrates the full depth and potential for human agency in knowledge and innovation. Though politically inconvenient for some, precaution simply acknowledges this scope and choice. By upholding both scientific rigour and democratic accountability under uncertainty, precaution offers a means to help reconcile these increasingly sundered Enlightenment cultures.
Read the full, original story here: Why the precautionary principle matters
- “The precautionary principle is a blunt instrument,” Guardian
- “Scientists Warn of Dangers of ‘Precautionary Science’,” OpenMarket.org