Indigenous research ethics and agro-ecological development : raising the IRE in biotechnology transfer
Although biotechnology has been an integral component of human history, contemporary research now operates with a precision and level of expertise that marks a significant break from previous understanding. By enabling the manipulation of the basic ‘building blocks’ of life, biotechnology sciences have had profound impacts in the humanities, including challenges to property rights, economic strategy, research and development policy, and – not least - ethics. In this context, previously isolated eco-social groups have experienced increasing contact and exchange as both purposeful and accidental transfers of biotic components occurs, and the potential for ‘recombination’ (of DNA, agricultural landscapes, political economies and ecosystems) has dramatically increased. These new technologies and methods have provoked wide concern as well as hope and excitement. This last point is driven by the coincidence of two developments - advanced biotechnologies and the completion of a 'sociotechnosphere' in which novelty is a commodity. These developments infer two fundamental resources upon indigenous peoples, revolving around biotic and cultural concepts of capital. This paper examines the interplay of agro-ecological and cultural development as it effects the participation of Maori in local and global genetic information networks, and seeks to extend our ethical participation. It does this by locating significant sites in the utilisation of genetic information, thereby identifying the relevant ‘ecosocial’ institutions to which Maori belong and with whom we should engage.... [Show full abstract]
TypeConference Contribution - Published (Conference Paper)
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