European public rejection of genetically modified crops remain a source of friction between normally cooperative trading partners. US policymakers dismiss the European reaction as based in scientifically ungrounded fears and an embrace of "precaution" driven by irrational opposition to technology progress. European anti-GM forces, in their turn, view the US posture as founded on inadequate science and driven more by corporate interests than by those of famers and consumers. How did these rifts arise, and what do they tell us about the politics of knowledge in an era of globalization? Sheila Jasanoff suggests that the GMO case provides good grounds for developing the concept of epistemic subsidiarity.
Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 100 articles and chapters and is author or editor of a dozen books, including Controlling Chemicals, The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, and Designs on Nature. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies, with particular attention to the nature of public reason. She was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell University and has held numerous distinguishing visiting appointments in the US, Europe, and Japan.
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