First published in 1982 . This report examines the application of classical and molecular genetic technologies to micro-organisms, plants, and animals. This book is one of the first comprehensive documents on emerging genetic technologies and their implications for society. The authors discuss the opportunities and problems involved, describe current techniques, and attempt to project some of the economic, environmental, and institutional impacts of those techniques. The issues they raise go beyond those of technology, utility, and economic feasibility. As we gain the ability to manipulate life, we must face basic questions of just what life means and how far we can reasonably-and safely-allow ourselves to go.
The Office of Technology Assessment was created in 1972 as an advisory arm of the U.S. Congress. OTA's basic function is to help legislative policymakers anticipate and plan for the consequences of technological changes and to examine the many ways, expected and unexpected, in which technology affects people's lives. The assessment of technology calls for exploration of the physical, biological, economic, social, and political impacts that can result from applications of scientific knowledge. OTA provides Congress with independent and timely information about the potential effects- both beneficial and harmful- of technological applications