Towards appropriate embedding of ecogenomics

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New scientific developments often encounter problems with respect to public acceptance of its products. The challenge for a new scientific field –such as ecogenomics (genomics approach to assessing ecosystems of the soil) – is to realize its societal promise in a generally accepted way. It is widely acknowledged that a more appropriate societal embedding could be enhanced by addressing societal aspects and involving stakeholders early in the development process. To this end an inventory study was conducted among various stakeholders, including researchers, industry, policy makers, advisory councils and NGOs to inquire about their expectations of scientific developments, possible future applications and possible societal aspects of ecogenomics. This study was executed within the framework of the Netherlands research program on ecogenomics.
Results of this study show that ecogenomics is indeed at an early stage of development; there is at the moment little agreement among stakeholders about future applications and potential societal effects. Particularly societal groups found it difficult to reflect on societal aspects because they felt that they had currently insufficient knowledge about ecogenomics –e.g. few societal groups were familiar with the term ‘ecogenomics’. In addition, it is not clear among stakeholders how and by whom the research agenda should be shaped. Findings also indicate that the course of development may still be altered relatively easily because few things (networks and technologies) have become entrenched and no controversy among stakeholders has yet arisen. This paper ends with some suggestions on how an interactive approach to the development process may overcome the dilemma of control at this early development stage and optimally use the room for manoeuvring.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventSecond CESAGen International Conference - London
Duration: 12 Apr 200514 Apr 2005


ConferenceSecond CESAGen International Conference

Bibliographical note

Place of publication: London


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