culture, science and decisions

Science in a supposedly non biased information gathering process from
which we can make sense on our surroundings and make decisions that might
go against our initial ethical and moral ideals. Science is very
persuasive and so is progress oriented technologies that are ever more
quickly moving us toward a science based future. Since science and the
technology that develops from it is a double edged sword that both does
good, say in the case of rennet in cheese that is genetically engineered
versus and bad, say in genetically engineered bst in dairy products. To me
the rennet is a positive. The idea of rennet from cattles stomach is not
palate pleasing, so by default the genetic engineered variety is
better to me.

So what is my point, well it is that I have an internal predilection to
question the necessity of the introductin of ever increasing quantities of
new products that say are genetically engineered and from a science
perspective is considered safe and good for our future. Science does not
have morals and ethics as people do. Science does not have a sense of
beauty and ugliness. Science can only predict in a controlled situation.
In the environment where we live science does not necessarily prove to be
safe when experiments predict it will be. Thus it stands to reason, that
science should not be trusted to be our minister for the future. As the
pace of science quickens, it will flood our senses with unimaginable
amounts on information about the possibities of its effects on society and
we currently rely on congress to judge these issues based on expert
testimonies of policy makers who are revolving from industry to public
office. In addition we have allowed politicians to eliminate forward
minded government institutions like the office of technology assessment.
Thus science and the corporations who use science and the patent machines
to control the market place and us have become our leaders. We are being
being lead away by the our own naive desire to trust or ignore what they
are planning and allow whatever they want to happen, pretty much to

How can we stop this trend and redirect it here in the US? In
Europe, it seems the people are more concerned and connected to these very
important issues and they are not willing to sacrifice ethics as related
to the shelfing of BST over price. What qualities about their culture keep
them more involved in governing their future?



Teige Davidson
Graduate Student
Tufts University
School of Nutrition Science & Policy
Agriculture, Food & Environment Program
Medford, Massachusetts