By Brian Rappert (auth.)
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Extra resources for Biotechnology, Security and the Search for Limits: An Inquiry into Research and Methods
Rather than norms providing the central basis for determining conduct, they functioned as a selective ‘vocabulary of justification’ for projecting an image of science to outsiders. 18 Mulkay justified this conclusion about the ideological role of norms in large part by drawing on historical studies of the emergence of the notion of ‘pure science’ in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This notion being that science should be publicly supported without the normal public controls on where and how funds were spent.
Construction of ‘fusion toxins’ derived from two distinct toxins. Genetic engineering of a Bacillus anthracis strain containing inserted toxin genes (for example, for cereolysine AB). The finding by Australian researchers that inserting the gene for interleukin-4 into the genome of ectromelia (mousepox) virus significantly enhances viral virulence and vaccine resistance in mice. Development of ‘stealth’ viruses that evade the human immune system. Publication of the molecular details of two virulent strains of influenza, the 1997 Hong Kong Flu and the 1918 Spanish Flu, the second of which killed 20 million to 40 million people worldwide.
Yet following through the constructivist desire not to take characterizations at face value would caution against any such a practice. Moreover, while certain claims and definitions have been subject to scrutiny in the text above, the presumptions in the evidence used to support this questioning generally have been subject to much less. These points raise the basic issue of what should be taken for granted and objectified in analyses that are committed to questioning how, and which, understandings become established.
Biotechnology, Security and the Search for Limits: An Inquiry into Research and Methods by Brian Rappert (auth.)