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
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.