Molecular Politics: Developing American and British Regulatory Policy for Genetic Engineering, 1972-1982

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9780226910659: Molecular Politics: Developing American and British Regulatory Policy for Genetic Engineering, 1972-1982
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The promise of genetic engineering in the early 1970s to profoundly reshape the living world activated a variety of social interests in its future promotion and control. With public safety, gene patents, and the future of genetic research at stake, a wide range of interest groups competed for control over this powerful new technology.

In this comparative study of the development of regulatory policy for genetic engineering in the United States and the United Kingdom, Susan Wright analyzes government responses to the struggles among corporations, scientists, universities, trade unions, and public interest groups over regulating this new field. Drawing on archival materials, government records, and interviews with industry executives, politicians, scientists, trade unionists, and others on both sides of the Atlantic, Molecular Politics provides a comprehensive account of a crucial set of policy decisions and explores their implications for the political economy of science.

By combining methods from political science and the history of science, Wright advances a provocative interpretation of the evolution of genetic engineering policy and makes a major contribution to science and public policy studies.

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The early promise of genetic engineering triggered a host of social and political concerns. In Molecular Politics, Susan Wright draws on government records, archival materials, and a wide range of interviews to analyze how the American and British governments responded to these concerns and to the struggles among corporations, scientists, universities, trade unions, and public interest groups for control of this controversial technology. Advancing an original approach to the expression of power in policymaking, she provides the first comparative study of a crucial set of policy decisions and explores their implications for the political economy of contemporary science.

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