Bioethical ambition, political opportunity and the European governance of patenting: the case of human embryonic stem cell science

Salter, Brian and Salter, Charlotte (2013) Bioethical ambition, political opportunity and the European governance of patenting: the case of human embryonic stem cell science. Social Science & Medicine, 98. pp. 286-292. ISSN 1873-5347

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Abstract

Scientific progress in the life sciences is dependent on the governance of tensions between the economic potential of the innovation and the cultural response from society. Ownership of the scientific innovation through patenting is a necessary part of the realization of its economic value yet, in the case of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) science, ownership of the human body and human life may offend fundamental cultural values. In the case of transnational patenting governance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union (EU), cross-national cultural conflict in the field of hESC science has produced a political demand for a form of governance that can incorporate ethical as well as economic judgements in its decision making. This paper explores how bioethics has responded to this opportunity to establish itself as a form of expert authority for the negotiation and resolution of the cultural conflict. In so doing, it shows how the political struggle that has accompanied this bid for new governance territory has been influenced both by the political tensions between the EPO and EU systems of patenting governance and the resistance of competing experts in law and science to a bioethical presence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 10:20
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 21:45
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/42512
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.050

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