Private Science
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Private Science
Biotechnology and the Rise of the Molecular Sciences

Arnold Thackray, Editor

304 pages | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 21 illus.
Cloth 1998 | ISBN 978-0-8122-3428-2 | $65.00s | £42.50 | Add to cart
A volume in the Chemical Sciences in Society series
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"The shift from brewing to biotech has excited historians nearly as much as investors. In Private Science, Arnold Thackray brings together most of the important writers in the field to show how biotech is shaped by economic and institutional interests. For specialists, but others should enjoy dipping in."—New Scientist

The word "Biotechnologie," used to describe technology based on biological raw materials, was coined in Hungary in 1917 by Karl Ereky, who met the threat of wartime famine by intensive fattening of huge numbers of pigs. Today, 250 public companies and perhaps another thousand privately held corporations are represented by the Biotechnology Industry Organization—all of them in the business of altering the genetic make-up of living things—and their activities have become the subject of vigorous debate among scholars, policymakers, and numerous other groups. Private Science is a contribution to that debate, focusing particularly on the relationships among corporations, universities, and national governments involved in biotechnological research. Essays in this collection examine the political and economic operations of the biotechnology industry and place those operations in historical context, tracing the history of both the institutional frameworks within which they developed and the ideas, attitudes, and language which shaped, and continue to shape, their development.

The twelve essays in the volume focus on the relationships among corporations, universities, and national governments involved in biotechnological research. They examine the political and economic operations of the industry and place those operations in historical context, tracing the history of the institutional frameworks within which they evolved as well as the ideas, attitudes, and language which shaped, and continue to shape their development.

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