No. 8

Biotechnology and the Future of Society: Challenges and Opportunities

  • 11 - 13 January 2003

The Eighth Annual Conference entitled “Biotechnology and the Future of Society: Challenges and Opportunities,” which falls in line with the ECSSR’s interest to expand research frontiers, sought to support the exploration of the key issues involved in the biotechnology debate. The dialogue of the conference included the Center’s esteemed guests of international experts; of whom participated in providing the most comprehensive coverage of ongoing research and activities in the field today through the exchange of viewpoints. The rapidity of biotechnological discoveries has wide-ranging socioeconomic and ethical implications. Frameworks of social values and the choices of society can determine the agenda of biotechnology research and the evaluation of its processes and products. The ability to identify and recombine genes makes the gene pool available, for the first time, as a primary raw resource for future economic activity such as in the development of pharmaceuticals, the production of industrial materials, and of intangible goods such as specialized knowledge of curing diseases. Applications of biotechnology in the health sector, agriculture, civil security and other fields will require a thorough reassessment regarding the way individuals live and see the world.