This is a study of the relationships among women scientists, particularly biotechnologists. It also explores the perspective of other disciplines, seeking to bridge the communication gap between science, the humanities and different feminist groups.
Johannes Klumpers Biotechnologies, such as genetic engineering, cloning and biodiversity, raise many legal and ethical concerns, so it is important that people understand these issues and feel able to express their opinions. This is why the European Commission has been, for a number of years, supporting actions to improve communication among scientists in these diverse areas. The project 'Women in Biotechnology' (WONBIT), financed under the 6th Framework programme of the European Commission, is an excellent example of what can be done to target opinion-formers such as scientists, economists and lawyers in bottom-up activities, and to encourage a debate on gender issues triggered by developments in the life sciences. WONBIT gave rise to a successful international conference highlighting the importance of adopting good practices and ethical considerations in parallel with the rapid pace of progress in biotechnology - from a woman's point of view. In particular, the conference addressed women in decision-making positions in b- technology with specific reference to scientific excellence, social competencies and management qualities as well as issues relating to environment, society and the younger generation. But it did not stop there: a key part of the conference was dedicated to stimulating public debate among non-specialists, which has led to a number of recommen- tions to policy-makers on better communication in biotechnology, on taking better account of the gender aspects of research, and on involving more women in the decision-making process that surrounds developments in biotechnology.
Contributors.- Abbreviations and Acronyms.- Part I: Women Scientists in Biotechnological Research.- 1. Heading Blithely down the Garden Path? Some Entry Points into Current Debates on Women and Biotechnologies.- 2. Seeking a Seat at the Policy Table: Engaging Women in Biotechnology Research and in Decision-Making.- 3. Perception and Attitudes towards Biotechnology in Hungary.- 4. Contribution of Bulgarian Women to Plant Biotechnology: Institute of Genetics Case.- Part II: Bodies, Cultures and Scientific Metaphors.- 5. Embryo Transfer: a View from the United Kingdom.- 6. Dividual Systems and Ultraneoteny.- 7. 'Pop-Genes': the Symbolic Effects of the Release of 'Genes' into Ordinary Speech.- 8. The Organizational Construction of the Body in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies.- 9. What's in a Name? The Importance of Nomenclature in Biotechnology.- 10. Egg Donation in the UK: Tracing Emergent Networks of Feminist Engagement in Relation to HFEA Policy Shifts in 2006.- Part III: Environmental Effects of Biotechnology.- 11. Seeking the New Biotechnological Fix? Public Health Genetics and Environmental Justice Policy in the United States.- 12. Technological Challenges: Asbestos Past Experiences, Nanoparticles: Future Developments.- 13. Affective Implications of GM Food on Social and Individual Integrity: an Ethical Approach.- 14. Women's Perceptions of Biotechnologies: the Case of Genetically Modified Foods in Switzerland.- 15. A Transdisciplinary Approach to Face the Plant Gene Transfer Technique: from Laboratory to Society.- Part IV: Facing Impact: Society and Biotechnology.- 16. Gender and Justice in the Gene Age: the Challenges Presented by Reproductive and Genetic Biotechnologies.- 17. Health Risks and Benefits from Biotechnology.- 18. Biodiversity of Romania Stressed by Transgenic Cultures?- 19. The Social and Economic Impact of GM Crops: the Case of the Herbicide Tolerance Trait.-Afterword.- Making our own Paths, Setting our own Agendas and Putting them into Action.- Some Remarks on Women and Science.- Index.
From the reviews:
"Women in Biotechnology examines legal, ethical, scientific, and technological issues related to development in biological technology from a woman's point of view. ... this volume is a collection of papers presented at the international Wombit Conference dealing with women in biotechnology in Rome, Italy, in June 2007. ... it is also accessible to general readers and academic audiences in other science fields. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic, general, and professional libraries, all levels." (C. A. Klevickis, Choice, Vol. 46 (7), March, 2009)
View of biotechnology written from women's perspectives
Aid to help improve scientists' responsibility to the decision-making processes affecting society at large
Encourages dialogue within interdisciplinary sciences and with the scientific community