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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Ethical tensions from new technology: the case of agricultural biotechnology.

Book cover for Ethical tensions from new technology: the case of agricultural biotechnology.


This book is an exploration into ethical tensions that new technology creates, with a particular focus on agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) food. There are four main arenas where new technologies generally, and agricultural biotechnology in particular, create ethical tensions, fault lines and pressure points. These are: public opinion and public interest; policy and regulati...


Chapter 8 (Page no: 112)

Technological pragmatism: navigating the ethical tensions created by agricultural biotechnology.

This chapter provides a path through the thicket of ethical tensions created by innovations in agricultural biotechnology. It first explains the notion of a technological fix and technological fix criticisms, and then clarifies and evaluates two opposing philosophies of technology which can be labelled as technological optimism and technological pessimism, respectively. Following that discussion, the chapter argues for a technological pragmatism that provides for a more discriminating approach to the tensions created by innovations in agricultural biotechnology. The final section illustrates how the conceptual tools provided by technological pragmatism's critique of technological fixes might be used to guide more ethically conscious research into genetically engineered crops and animals.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 12) Ethical tensions from a 'science alone' approach in communicating genetic engineering science to consumers. Author(s): Kolodinsky, J.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 26) Against the (GM) grain: ethical tensions and agrobiotechnology activism in the USA. Author(s): Jones, B. M.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 39) The use and abuse of the term 'GMO' in the 'common weal rhetoric' against the application of modern biotechnology in agriculture. Author(s): Aerni, P.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 53) Collaborating with the enemy? A view from down under on GM research partnerships. Author(s): Ankeny, R. A. Bray, H. J. McKinley, K. A.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 69) Three models of public opinion and public interest for agricultural biotechnology: precautionary, conventional and accommodative. Author(s): Windsor, D.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 83) Genetically modified organisms in food: ethical tensions and the labeling initiative. Author(s): Strauss, D. M.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 97) Ethical tensions in regulation of agricultural biotechnology and their impact on policy outcomes: evidence from the USA and India. Author(s): Kolady, D. E. Srivastava, S. K.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 126) Absolute hogwash: assemblage and the new breed of animal biotechnology. Author(s): MacDonald, K. M.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 137) Nature-identical outcomes, artificial processes: governance of CRISPR/cas genome editing as an ethical challenge. Author(s): Pirscher, F. Bartkowski, B. Theesfeld, I. Timaeus, J.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 151) New technology, cognitive bias and ethical tensions in entrepreneurial commercialization: the case of CRISPR. Author(s): Ng, D. James, H. S., Jr.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 162) New technology, ethical tensions and the mediating role of translational research. Author(s): Valdivia, C. James, H. S., Jr. Quiroz, R.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Mansfield Center, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, USA.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2018
  • ISBN
  • 9781786394644
  • Record Number
  • 20183239078