What Are Stem Cells?: Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics (Hardback)John Lynch (author)
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Publisher: The University of Alabama Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 447 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
"Although bioethical issues surrounding stem cell research during the Bush and Obama administrations form a backdrop, Lynch (communication, Univ. of Cincinnati) is more concerned here with how language is used than with ethical positions. He presents definitions not so much as reflections of reality, but more as malleable tools for shaping public debate and policy. He introduces the idea of "scientistic idioms" to describe how various proponents and opponents of stem cell research incorporate the language of science to bolster their positions. Ironically, critics of stem cell research often use scientific idioms to challenge and undermine the authority of stem cell researchers. Lynch also frames his analysis in terms of a 'Manichean idiom' that presents stem cell research in terms of struggles between good and evil. For proponents of stem cell research, the Manichean idiom may take the form of scientific progress versus benighted religious or political agendas. Opponents may use the same idiom to contrast overreaching science with protection of human values. Lynch's analysis is useful for understanding not only debates over stem cell research, but also contentious issues such as teaching evolution in schools--a topic briefly addressed in the conclusion. Part of the 'Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique' series. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals."
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