Download Biotech: The Countercultural Origins of an Industry by Eric J. Vettel PDF

By Eric J. Vettel

The probably limitless succeed in of strong biotechnologies and the attendant progress of the multibillion-dollar have raised tricky questions about the medical discoveries, political assumptions, and cultural styles that gave upward thrust to for-profit organic examine. Given such amazing stakes, a background of the economic biotechnology needs to inquire some distance past the predictable recognition to scientists, discovery, and company revenues. It needs to pursue how anything so complicated because the biotechnology was once born, poised to turn into either a leading edge for modern international capitalism and a focus for polemic moral debate.In "Biotech," Eric J. Vettel chronicles the tale in the back of genetic engineering, recombinant DNA, cloning, and stem-cell examine. it's a tale concerning the meteoric upward push of presidency aid for medical learn through the chilly conflict, approximately activists and scholar protesters within the Vietnam period urgent for a brand new objective in technological know-how, approximately politicians growing coverage that alters the process technology, and in addition in regards to the free up of robust entrepreneurial energies in universities and in enterprise capital that few discovered existed. so much of all, it's a tale approximately people--not simply biologists but additionally fans and competitors who knew not anything concerning the organic sciences but cared deeply approximately how organic study used to be performed and the way the ensuing wisdom used to be used.Vettel weaves jointly those tales to demonstrate how the biotechnology was once born within the San Francisco Bay zone, reading the anomalies, ironies, and paradoxes that contributed to its upward thrust. Culled from oral histories, college files, and personal company documents, together with Cetus, the world's first biotechnology corporation, this compelling historical past exhibits how a cultural and political revolution within the Nineteen Sixties ended in a brand new clinical order: the sensible software of organic wisdom supported by means of inner most traders looking forward to ecocnomic returns eclipsed easy study supported via govt organisations.

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Would scientific merit drive the review process, or would it be something else? The Rockefeller Foundation and the BVL In November 1947, Wendell Stanley submitted a proposal to the Rockefeller Foundation for "$500,000 to $600,000 to help cover construction costs, research support, equipment, operation and salaries" for a Biochemistry and Virus Laboratory at Berkeley. "11 By all accounts, Stanley's application was the strongest submitted to the Rockefeller Foundation in 1947, and perhaps stronger than anything that Weaver had seen throughout his tenure.

Participants have only a partial view of events as they unfold, and over time, memories fade. Moreover, many actors have a peculiar interpretation of the past—for instance, left-leaning investigators blamed the Nixon administration for slashing support for basic bioscience research, and more conservative investigators pointed accusing fingers at the misplaced agendas of student radicals. The profusion of available evidence—oral histories, interviews, periodicals, university administrative records, corporate archives, scientific notebooks and publications, and so on—meant that different "facts" could be compared and checked against other documented sources.

Before World War II, the Rockefeller Foundation—the most powerful private sponsor of scientific research—cautiously guided a steady and methodical experimental field. Then, beginning in the late 1940s, the federal government implemented policy that directed unprecedented levels of money to support laboratory research, transforming such agen cies as the National Institutes of Health from a once-insignificant government agency into a bureaucratic behemoth. In an instant, the state eclipsed the power of private sponsors.

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