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Structure, Agency and Biotechnology argues for the significance of sociological theory and highlights the insights it can offer to the study of agricultural biotechnology. Cautioning against a simplistic reading of the GM controversy as merely a debate of science versus politics, Aristeidis Panagiotou suggests that the discussion should be embedded in the wider social, political, economic and cultural contexts. Structure, Agency and Biotechnology assesses the 2012 Rothamsted GM wheat trials and proposes that the tension underlying GM technology should be resolved through sustained dialogue, public involvement and broad scientific consensus.
From its first edition in 1979, Perspectives in Sociology has provided generations of undergraduates with a clear, reassuring introduction to the complications of sociological theory. This revised and updated edition features: a concise introduction to the major debates of the twentieth century, placing them in historical and philosophical context information on thinkers of the nineteenth and early twentieth century whose relevance to modern social thought is only now being recognized, e.g. Nietszche, Saussure, Simmel connections drawn between post-structuralist thinkers like Foucault and Derrida and the founding figures of sociology: Marx, Weber and Durkheim a completely rewritten chapter on the ‘Synthesisers’ - Bourdieu, Habermas and Giddens - and their attempts to generate a consensus from the apparently conflicting theories of their predecessors a new chapter reviewing the rise of British sociology, with particular reference to the political context and the changing role of ‘class’ in sociological thinking a new chapter describing the attempts of sociological theorists to explain current concerns, problems, and issues in the areas of gender, (homo)sexuality, and ethnicity in the context of the postcolonial world. While retaining its emphasis and wealth of information on the founding figures of sociology, this fifth edition now features a new easy-to-read format, (with particular attention paid to the linking and cross-referencing of chapters), and includes much new material on contemporary social theory with particular reference to its attempts to tackle current problems and issues in the areas of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity in the postcolonial context.
In 2001 the Human Genome Project announced that it had successfully mapped the entire genetic content of human DNA. Scientists, politicians, theologians, and pundits speculated about what would follow, conjuring everything from nightmare scenarios of state-controlled eugenics to the hope of engineering disease-resistant newborns. As with debates surrounding stem-cell research, the seemingly endless possibilities of genetic engineering will continue to influence public opinion and policy into the foreseeable future. Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering distinguishes between the hype and reality of this technology and explains the nuanced and delicate relationship between science and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, particularly in agriculture and medicine, as well as the possible dangers. The authors show how the popular view of genetics does not include an understanding of the ways in which genes actually work together in organisms. Simplistic and reductionist views of genes lead to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment in the results that genetic engineering actually delivers. The authors explore new developments in genetics, from the discovery of “non-Darwinian” adaptative mutations in bacteria to evidence that suggests that organisms are far more than mere collections of genetically driven mechanisms. While examining these issues, the authors also answer vital questions that get to the essence of genetic interaction with human biology: Does DNA “manage” an organism any more than the organism manages its DNA? Should genetically engineered products be labeled as such? Do the methods of the genetic engineer resemble the centuries-old practices of animal husbandry? Written for lay readers, Beyond Biotechnology is an accessible introduction to the complicated issues of genetic engineering and its potential applications. In the unexplored space between nature and laboratory, a new science is waiting to emerge. Technology-based social and environmental solutions will remain tenuous and at risk of reversal as long as our culture is alienated from the plants and animals on which all life depends.
A unique and accessible account of the interaction between population growth and agricultural innovation.
Plant Biotechnology: Current and Future Uses of Genetically Modified Crops covers in detail the development, use and regulation of GM crops. Split into three sections, Part 1 introduces GM crops and describes the GM crops that are used commercially. Part 2 looks at new developments and methodologies in areas including potential applications of GM crops for the production of vaccines, enhanced nutritional value of GM food, and engineering resistance to fungal pathogens. Part 3 concludes by considering the key issues of safety and legislation, including allergenicity, environmental impacts, risk assessment and labelling. Key features: Covers the topic in depth and addresses key subject areas Takes a broad view of the current situation in different countries Examines the commercial application of plant biotechnology in the USA and China Covers two major areas of public concern: allergenicity and gene flow Covers new developments in plant research, safety and legislation aspects This book is essential reading for postgraduates and researchers in plant biotechnology and related sciences in Departments of Plant Science, Biotechnology, Bioscience, Environmental Science, Food Biosciences and Chemistry. It is also of interest for professionals working in the plant biotechnology industry or government professionals working in environmental policy.
Our daily news bulletins bring us tales of the wonder of science, from Mars rovers and intelligent robots to developments in cancer treatment, and yet often the emphasis is on the potential threats posed by science. It appears that irrationality is on the rise in western society, and public opinion is increasingly dominated by unreflecting prejudice and unwillingness to engage with factual evidence. From genetically modified crops and food, organic farming, the MMR vaccine, environmentalism, the precautionary principle and the new anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation movements, the rejection of the evidence-based approach nurtures a culture of suspicion, distrust, and cynicism, and leads to dogmatic assertion and intolerance. In this compelling and timely examination of science and society, Dick Taverne argues that science, with all the benefits it brings, is an essential part of civilised and democratic society: it offers the most hopeful future for mankind.
Bringing together leading scientists and professionals in tropical forest ecology and management, this book examines in detail the interplay between timber harvesting and wildlife, from invertebrates to large mammal species. Its contributors suggest modifications to existing practices that can ensure a better future for the tropics' valuable -- and invaluable -- resources.

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