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By Richard Hindmarsh

Edging in the direction of BioUtopia interrogates probably the most very important environmental conflicts in fresh technology and know-how historical past: the talk a few proposed genetically engineered "futurenatural." In a revealing behind-the-scenes account, this publication investigates the political applied sciences and regulatory maneuvers in Australia which objective to comprise and dismiss probing public debate. The ebook bargains a special point of view at the Genetic alterations debate, and is written through a well known specialist within the interplay among technology and politics.

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Additional info for Edging Towards BioUtopia: A New Politics of Reordering Life & The Democratic Challenge

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His vision of science was elitist in its external face and hierarchical in its internal organization…For Bacon, scientific progress would not go hand in hand with public enlightenment but, on the contrary, depended on a dissociation of scientific inquiry from public discourse…³⁹ The enlightened community of scientists would then lead the masses. ⁴¹ In the latter half of the seventeenth century, Bacon’s ideas about science as technology for human betterment gained momentum, while his deductive methodology of experiment and observation became the hallmarks of a practice that could inform the rational configuration and order of the human world.

To these authors, BioUtopia would amount to what they call a ‘technonature’, which offers ‘a new spatial/temporal politics of environmentalism for the new century’. This gives credence to my project, with this book, of addressing a new politics of reordering life and its democratic challenge. In summary, uncertainties about the techno-nature proposed in the science, regulation and emergent or proposed outcomes of genetic engineering, in large part drives the questioning of genetic engineering, and the mobilisation of worldwide resistance to both the release of GMOs into the environment and to the notion of a biotechnologically recast futurenatural.

Darwin posited that a natural force—‘the struggle for existence’—resulted in species variation over time, or evolution. Darwin’s view appealed to the ideology of competitive capitalism, and was quickly popularised as the dominant reality of natural progress. ⁵⁰ In his grand schema, though, Darwin had been unable to explain the ‘mechanism’ of heredity. The Moravian Augustinian monk, Gregor Mendel, provided this explanation. ⁵¹ Mendel’s experimental and statistical methods, which produced such stable results, reinforced the representation of modern science’s capacity to understand the laws of nature.

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