Speaker, Author and Professor
of Ethics, Intercultural Ethics,
Medical Ethics & Asian Philosophy

Cross-Cultural Biotechnology: A Reader, ed

Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004

Back Cover:

What is biotechnology?  What are its goals?  Are there global benefits, or are there more perils than promises?  Why is it that the poor remain poor?  This new anthology provides an accessible and captivating introduction to these and other vital concerns in biotechnology.  By examining these concerns within a cross-cultural framework, Cross-Cultural Biotechnology offers a distinctive approach to helping readers understand the major legal, ethical, and social issues in this rapidly growing field.

Part 1 outlines major global issues and international policies.  The ubiquitous tension between commercialization and equitable access is made abundantly clear, as is the need for global partnership.  Part 2 examines specific biotechnological changes in various cultures: genetic research in the United States, genetic testing and regulatory concerns in Canada, embryonic research in Europe, overcoming past legacies in the former Soviet republic, Jewish and Islamic perspectives on biotechnologies, food security issues in Africa, Confucianism in Asia, and the role of indigenous cultures.  Part 3 explores global challenges: the need to balance intellectual property rights and fair access; the need for media sensitivity to cultural contexts; finally, the need to better understand and prepare for terrorism.

Although Western voices still dominate the discussion, it is time to listen to other viewpoints from other cultures.  By exposing biotechnology within a global context, this book challenges us to cultivate a shared human vision and vividly shows that cross-cultural bridge-building embraces a global voice and message: Cross-cultural bridge building is needed now, more than ever.


Michael C. Brannigan – Donald Chalmers – David Kum-Wah Chan – Margaret Coffey – Jo Ann T. Croom – Mylène Deschênes – Henrich Ganthaler – Yuri Gariev – Stella Gonzalez-Arnal – Ryuichi Ida – Jeffrey P. Kahn – Martin O. Makinde – Anna C. Mastroianni – Katharine R. Meacham – Bushra Mirza – Michael J. Morgan – Dianne Nicol – Edward Reichman – Susan E. Wallace – Larissa P. Zhiganova


“This is a fascinating collection of essays for two reasons.  It covers an extraordinary broad range of issues at the forefront of contemporary bioethical debates.  It also articulates among cultural diversities what are shared values in applications of biotechnology across cultural, political, and religious boundaries.”

Henk ten Have
Division of Ethics of Science and Technology