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Time and the structuring of ritual performance in the xenotransplantation debate

[journal article]

Bickford, Julia; Mather, Charles; Fleising, Usher

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-223694

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Abstract Advancements in biotechnology provoke fundamental questions about the relationship of humans to the natural world. A crisis arises as the knowledge, practice, and policies concerning biotechnology grow further out of step with each other. This paper examines the role of ritual performance as a means of resolving this crisis, uniting the organic with the socio-moral aspects of science, technology and regulatory policy. Ritual performance is evident in the public discussions of the United States’ Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation (SACX). In an attempt to understand the cultural responses to new knowledge, this paper examines the transcripts of several SACX meetings for its ritual elements and references to authority. We find that time is used by scientists to structure ritual performance in a way that guides public policy and attitudes toward xenotransplantation.
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 235-247
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 14 (2005) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662505047525
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)