Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable development and technology: genetic engineering, social sustainability and empirical ethics

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Sustainability models are analysed and the ontological relationship between the dimensions of sustainability are discussed. A sustainable values framework generated from some New Zealand research is presented. The focus is then narrowed predominantly to social sustainability and technological development. It may be argued that in democratic societies the science community and the government have a duty to take into account the attitudes, values and beliefs of the public, regarding development of Promethean technologies. However, attitudes, values and beliefs about technologies evolve and change across time, place and culture. Different stakeholder groups may contest sustainable development of a new technology in at least two different ways: firstly, facts regarding the effects of the technology may be disputed (i.e. the science is contested) and; secondly, normative values regarding the technology and its applications may also be contested.

Keywords: democratisation of science, empirical ethics, genetic engineering, social sustainability, sustainability models, sustainable technology, sustainable values framework, values, sustainable development, New Zealand, technological development, new technology

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