A-1/94 New biotechnology and the greening of politics. Value cleavages, economic interests and public opinion in risk society

This article deals with the development of the new biotechnologies and their impact on public opinion. The adoption of a technological innovation is made under constraints created by public debate and actions taken by governmental and private institutions. Public opinion and environmental groups take a special interest in biotechnology because of the risk and ethical dilemmas involved. As administrators and legislators try to find ways to regulate the field, the natural science community is having problems communicating its instrumental position. The article investigates whether conflicts about the new biotechnologies are perhaps cases where "new politics" plays an important role. Opinion data from three groups: biotechnology researchers, farmers and consumers are presented. The findings suggest that, contrary to what is found in the biotech, science community, both agricultural producers and consumers will oppose some of the new biotechnologies on ethical and environmental grounds. Sosiologisk tidsskrift, nr 1, 1994

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