[Editor’s note: Tess Doezema is a doctoral student at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, where she researches biotechnology promise and politics.]
[S]cientists and others offer a picture of a Manichean world divided into those who are for scientific and technological progress and those who are against it—a representation of the world that we have been seeing more and more of lately in reports of a “war on science.” But drawing this line is dangerous. The real problem here is the regulatory process itself, which forces dissent to take the narrow form of challenges to scientific data and methodology and ignores other questions about what’s at stake.
Some might read the vast public preoccupation with a broad set of social, political, and economic issues as the contamination of science with politics. But I would suggest that this is actually a case of the reverse problem: seemingly endless conflict around the AquAdvantage salmon reflects the limitation of using narrow scientific terms to address questions of broad social, political, and economic significance.
Scientists often dismiss resistance to the AquAdvantage salmon and other biotechnologies as borne of scientific ignorance. But it’s a lot easier to understand people’s reluctance if you realize that the debate is about much broader questions than science alone can answer.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Skepticism About Biotechnology Isn’t Anti-Science
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