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Document Details :
Title: The Saving Power of Biotechnology
Subtitle: On Public Perceptions of a Field of Technology
Author(s): REUTER, Lars
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Date: March 2005
Biotechnology emerges in the nexus of academic, political and economic interests. With its strong reliance on a human individual capable of changing matter or organisms in accordance with anticipated goals, biotechnology is closely linked with a modern notion of human agency. In this article, it is argued that in contemporary European societies, biotechnology is perceived in three distinct ways, namely as an agent, as pluripotent, and as salvific. Similar to other forms of technologies, it provides a foil for human activity and projection, but is supersedes them in a quasi religious fashion. The great fascination with the biotechnological enterprise might, thus, express a more fundamental longing for narratives providing coherence and meaning.