Drew L. Kershen
University of Oklahoma

Biotechnology is the latest historical example of a scientific discipline creating enormous cultural, social, and public policy controversies. By comparing biotechnology to these past controversies, and by comparing biotechnology to present-day computer technology, Professor Kershen argues that acceptance or rejection of biotechnology will ultimately occur as a result of ideological and political beliefs and pressures. He argues that the debate about biotechnology will not be resolved primarily based on expanded knowledge and understanding of biotechnology as a science.

Key words: Biotechnology; computer technology; cultural values; public policy; precautionary principle; technology assessment; product regulation; European Union; United States.