The Therapeutic Cloning Debate : Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere book cover
1st Edition

The Therapeutic Cloning Debate
Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere

ISBN 9780367600907
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

Exploring the controversy surrounding therapeutic human cloning, this book draws upon data collected from news articles and interviews with journalists to examine the role of mass media in shaping biomedical controversies. With specific reference to the US and the UK as two leading scientific nations grappling with the global issue of therapeutic cloning, together with attention to the important role played by nations in Southeast Asia, this book sheds light on media representations of scientific developments, the unrealistic hype that can surround them, the influence of religion and the potentially harmful imposition of journalistic and nationalist values on the scientific field. Empirically grounded and theoretically innovative, The Therapeutic Cloning Debate will appeal to social scientists across a range of disciplines with interests in science communication, public engagement, cultural and media studies, science politics, science journalism, the sociology of expert knowledge and risk. It will also appeal to scientists, journalists, policymakers and others interested in how news media frame science for the public.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The struggle to define therapeutic cloning; Human cloning before Dolly; Epochal change in the contemporary human cloning debate; Therapeutic cloning science in the global risk society; Mediating scientific risk in the public sphere; The role of science journalism; Previous research on human cloning in the media; Scientific utopianism and balanced hype; Scientific dystopianism, balanced hype and haphazard hype; The role of science fiction in scientific dystopianism; Scientific nationalism; Sources: the raw materials of science news; Framing the science: the role of scientists in the mediated public sphere; Science politics from below: patient advocates and anti-abortion activists enter the fray; Science politics from below: anti-abortion groups ascend as the leading opposition; The ethical experts: professional bioethicists in the therapeutic cloning debate; Mediating public engagement: promises and problems; Conclusion; Appendix; Index.

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Eric A. Jensen is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK and co-editor of Culture and Social Change: Transforming Society through Power of Ideas.


’Cloning has a long history in science and fiction. This book is the first to investigate thoroughly and critically the journalistic practices that go into producing and debating the scientific controversies surrounding therapeutic cloning. It should be read by anybody interested in the role of the media in science and society in general and science communication in particular.’ Brigitte Nerlich, University of Nottingham, UK '... this book offers insight into decisions about how and what news get covered. It is a very well researched volume, providing a concrete snapshot for a particular controversial medical issue.' Ethics & Medicine