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dc.contributor.authorJones, Mary Ellenen_US
dc.description.abstractThis social history of science policy development emphasizes the impact on the agricultural community of federal policies regarding release of recombinant DNA (rDNA) organisms into the environment. The history also demonstrates that the U.S. Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology Regulation (1986) is based principally in political criteria, not solidly based in science as its proponents claimed. The power struggle among policy negotiators with incompatible belief systems resulted in a political correction of biotechnology. I also demonstrate that episodes in the rDNA controversy occur in repetitive and periodic patterns.

During the 1980s, the first rDNA microbial pesticide, Ice-Minus, struggled through a policy gauntlet of federal agency approval processes, a Congressional hearing, and many legal actions before it was finally released into the environment. At the height of the controversy (1984-1986), the Reagan Administration would admit no new laws or regulations to slow the development of technologies or hinder American international competitiveness. At the same time, Jeremy Rifkin, a radical activist representing a green world view, used the controversy to agitate for social and economic reform. Meanwhile, a group of Congressional aides who called themselves the "Cloneheads" used the debate to fight for more public participation in the science policy-making process.

Conflicting perspectives regarding biotechnology originated, not in level of understanding of the science involved, but in personal perspectives that were outwardly expressed as political group affiliations. The direction of federal biotechnology policy was influenced most successfully by politically best-positioned individuals (what I call a "hierarchy effect") who based decisions on how biotechnology harmonized with their pre-existing beliefs. The success of their actions also depended on timing.

Historical events during the rDNA controversy followed the same periodic pattern--gestation, threshold, crisis/conflict, and quasi-quiescence--through two consecutive eras--the Containment Era (1970s) and the Release Era (1980s). These periods are modeled after Fletcher's stages through which ethical issues evolve (1990). However, an agricultural perspective on the debate reveals that such stages also occur in finer detail on repeating, overlapping, and multi-level scales. Knowledge of this periodicity may be useful in predicting features of future episodes of the rDNA controversy

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and to make available my thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.en_US
dc.subjectgenetic engineeringen_US
dc.subjectworld view and science policy preferencesen_US
dc.subjectJeremy Rifkinen_US
dc.subjectReagan Administrationen_US
dc.subjectperiodicity of technological controversyen_US
dc.subjectrecombinant DNA in agricultureen_US
dc.subjectscience and politicsen_US
dc.titlePolitically Corrected Science: The Early Negotiation of U.S. Agricultural Biotechnology Policyen_US
dc.contributor.departmentScience and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.description.degreePh. D.en_US D.en_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US and Technology Studiesen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairZallen, Doris T.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBurian, Richard M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTolin, Sue A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHirsh, Richard F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFlora, Cornelia Butleren_US

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