The promise of genetic engineering in the early 1970s to profoundly reshape the living world activated a variety of social interests in its future promotion and control. With public safety, gene patents, and the future of genetic research at stake, a wide range of interest groups competed for control over this powerful new technology.
In this comparative study of the development of regulatory policy for genetic engineering in the United States and the United Kingdom, Susan Wright analyzes government responses to the struggles among corporations, scientists, universities, trade unions, and public interest groups over regulating this new field. Drawing on archival materials, government records, and interviews with industry executives, politicians, scientists, trade unionists, and others on both sides of the Atlantic, Molecular Politics provides a comprehensive account of a crucial set of policy decisions and explores their implications for the political economy of science.
By combining methods from political science and the history of science, Wright advances a provocative interpretation of the evolution of genetic engineering policy and makes a major contribution to science and public policy studies.