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Defence research and genetic engineering: Fears and dissociation in the 1970s

Agar, J; Balmer, B; (2016) Defence research and genetic engineering: Fears and dissociation in the 1970s. In: Scientific Governance in Britain, 1914-79. (pp. 122-143). Manchester University Press: Manchester, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the implications for British defence research of the discovery of techniques to genetically engineer organisms in the early 1970s. While we argue that there is no evidence that the UK in the 1970s exploited genetic engineering techniques as a source of new weapons or defences, there were two consequences, which we call disassociations. First, the Microbiological Research Establishment, at Porton Down, was divorced from direct military patronage. In doing so, the governance of genetic engineering was influenced. Second, the concerns about the military potential of genetic engineering were subject to publicity management, and were dampened by invoking the provisions of the Biological Weapons Convention.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Defence research and genetic engineering: Fears and dissociation in the 1970s
ISBN-13: 9780719090981
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719090...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471282
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