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RAND study: "Biotechnology and Global Governance"

Genetic Crossroads
June 12th, 2000

RAND study: "Biotechnology and Global Governance"

At the request of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),
RAND has recently completed a 125-page report titled "Information and
Biological Revolutions: Global Governance Challenges." Francis Fukuyama
and Caroline S. Wagner prepared the report and convened the 1998-1999
study group on which it is based.

A summary,focusing on human genetic technologies, was published in imP
magazine (November 1999) as "Biotechnology and Global Governance."
There, Fukuyama and Wagner write that "[in] the early part of the 21st
century,...human genetic manipulation and bioinformatics...[will] amplify
human capabilities so significantly and so profoundly that they stand to
fundamentally alter the very notion of what we think of as human....[T]he
level of control that is in the hands of the individual makes social
governance much more complex than is the case with technologies [such as
nuclear technology] that require collection action to build, use, or
maintain....It is useless..to think about governance except in an inter-
national context."

Fukuyama and Wagner argue that a "top-down or positivist approach...will
not work." So strong is their antipathy to government regulation that
they propose "citizen councils" and non-governmental organizations as
appropriate governance bodies.

For the summary: <http://www.cisp.org/imp/november_99/11_99wagner.htm>.
For the full report: <http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1139>.


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