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Cloning sensations: mass mediated articulation of social responses to controversial biotechnology

[journal article]

Horst, Maja

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Abstract The 1998 announcement by American researcher Richard Seed that he intended to clone a human person for reproductive reasons created a large amount of journalistic attention and controversy in the Danish mass media. Developing a theoretical framework inspired by Bruno Latour, this paper analyzes the mass mediated articulation of this announcement as an exploration of the socially viable interpretations of human cloning within the controversial field of biotechnology. An inductive analysis of scripts employed by four national newspapers identifies four main scripts: scientific education, pragmatic regulation, absolute resistance and fatalistic irony. All scripts generally reject the idea of human cloning, but they are found to represent distinctively different forms of social response corresponding to the classification of different cultural dialogues on risk.
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 185-200
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 14 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)