Inderscience Publishers

Scientific transparency for sustainable biotechnology

The increasing use of new biotechnologies for industrial production represents a potential contribution to sustainable development. To realise this potential a learning process of stakeholder involvement is needed, supported by a practical tool to make biotechnology debates less confused by stakeholder controversy and more scientifically transparent. We suggest a mechanism of 'learning-by-questions' to bridge communication divides between stakeholders and to promote sustainable applications of biotechnology. This new methodology for stakeholder involvement is needed since an innovative realm of genomics-based industrial biotechnology is ready for launch, while the less effective debate on agricultural biotechnology is still frustrating its sustainable development. The aim of this approach is to introduce a more transparent tool for stakeholder involvement, by which possible benefits and costs can be included in a balanced way. For this purpose, we present an integrated perspective on stakeholders, on sustainability and on science.

Keywords: industrial biotechnology, biofuels promotion, stakeholder involvement, decision support systems, DSS, philosophy of science, social sustainability, ecological sustainability, economic sustainability, sustainable development, scientific transparency, genomics

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