PROPOSAL: bionet.politics

U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu
Sun Jun 26 01:37:25 EST 1994


   I think there's a straightforward answer to the problems of large numbers of
"Voices..." followups, surveys on ethics of gene therapy, and other such
political and social discussions that show up on bionet.general:  give them
somewhere else to go!  A group could be created, "bionet.politics" (if the vote
wins), "alt.bio.politics" (if not...), which would address these issues.
   I'm surprised that such a group does not already exist:  There are very few
forums in which knowledgeable people can discuss the very real political issues
that surround our field.  In Germany it would appear that a researcher who
doesn't fill out the right paperwork for even the most mundane gene-splicing
can even be at risk of prison!  Can we leave these issues to a few editorials
in the journals, which must by their position make very moderate, conciliatory
statements, without having an ongoing discussion with which to sharpen our wits
and further develop our opinions?  I would think that a Usenet group would be a
precious political asset, allowing rapid development of coordinated action
among people who would never have a chance to communicate otherwise.
   I am not personally familiar with the process of creating a bionet.* group,
nor do I wish to go through a great deal of effort in trying to gather votes
for the group.  For this reason I would greatly appreciate the involvement of
someone else more familiar with the bionet.* political processes, if in fact
you think bionet.politics is a good idea.  On the other hand, if I receive
sufficient response to convince me that such a group is desired, but not in the
bionet.* hierarchy, I would be willing to make the proposal on alt.config and
send a newgroup message for alt.bio.politics.  This would add to the currently
rather under-used groups alt.bio.minority and alt.bio.hackers currently in that
hierarchy.
   I'll post a summary of replies I receive, so you don't have to make a
separate post just to say yes or no.



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