Policy ForumBiotechnology

Why Are People Hostile to Biotechnologies?

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Science  18 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5678, pp. 1749
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095861

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Public hostility to biotechnologies is usually attributed to a lack of "scientific literacy" on the part of citizens and, more in general, to a prejudicial skepticism toward science. Using data from the third edition of a survey of Italian citizens, the authors of this Policy Forum argue that the key factor may not be straightforward hostility against biotechnologies or against science per se, but skepticism about the interaction among scientific expertise, decision-making, and political representation.