ESRC Responsive Grants Ref. No. RES-000-22-2678
The appropriate creation and application of biotechnology throws up numerous challenges with which society must deal: scientific, environmental, social, ethical and legal. Human Stem Cell Research (SCR), as an evolving exemplar of biotech innovation, is a nexus for many of these challenges and controversies. Although there is a growing body of work relating to human stem cells (SCs), there is a dearth of work on the interaction of social values and law in the SCR context – with its tensions between promoting science, managing stakeholders and limiting risks – and of its pursuit in developing countries. Within the context of a case study on the regulation of biotechnology in Argentina, with special emphasis on the governance of stem cells from sourcing, to storing, to commercialising research outputs, the Governing Emerging Technologies project (GET: Social Values) examines how social and ethical values are, and can be, translated into legal rules (themselves deployed as social shaping tools insofar as they guide/promote socially significant research).
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The GET: Social Values project is an ESRC-funded project that will examine the conduct and motivating values of Argentine stakeholders as they struggle with the moral and other controversies surrounding these regulatory subjects and endeavour to formulate socially acceptable regulatory structures applicable thereto. Objectives include mapping the most salient features of the social/moral/legal debates, developing dialogues with stakeholders to reveal the multiple goals envisioned for regulation, and contributing to the debate surrounding and formulation of value-sensitive regulatory models.
However, given that Argentina has ambitions to become a regional leader, both scientifically and regulatorily, findings and benefits may not be limited to Argentina; the GET: Social Values project should permit general and generalisable insights into the governance of SCR and the accommodation of values in same, that is relevant to other similarly situated (culturally, economically, etc.) countries.
The GET: Social Values project design is intended to maximise the potential for in-depth information supportive of analysis of the key issues involved, including the existence of a disconnect between moral aspiration and rhetoric, on the one hand, and legal output, on the other. IT will consist of the following:
All material will be compiled and reviewed, and conclusions will be drawn and registered on ESRC Society Today, as well as on the ProReg Biotech website.