The Human Genome Project and the media. Case study: the relation between genetics and the media

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Abstract: 

Terms such as gmo, genetic tests and pharmacogenomics, which were once used only by experts, belong today to everyday language. The new vocabulary of molecular biology shows an increase in the interest of society in scientific problems, and in particular the recent cultural supremacy of molecular biology. For all of us, the gene symbolizes progress and power, the hope of fighting incurable diseases, and the fear of terrifying genetic manipulations. These aspects become real events and characters in the Human Genome Project. But this great international project has also shown that the relation between science and society is changing. This event can actually be seen as a metaphor of science leaving academic laboratories to settle new areas of society. From economics to sociology, from epistemological discourse to bioethical debate, from medicine to basic research, in all these fields genome becomes the main topic of discussion and food for thought. Public attention to this international project has grown constantly throughout its development, and it peaked when science came into contact with the press.

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21 March 2003