Your Opinion? Scientists' effect on biodiversity legislation
clc at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Jan 22 18:07:04 EST 1997
I'm a law student at the University of Texas. I want to write a paper
this semester on biodiversity law, and the way such laws frequently
differ in philosophy and intent from more traditional law.
I'm still early in my research, but it seems to me that scientists
frequently have a negative effect on such lawmaking when they act as
consultants, lobbyists, or political operatives. They often pull the
focus of the law towards an elitist, otherworldly overprotectiveness that
doesn't reflect the wants and needs of the actual constituency.
This seems destined to cause a backlash away from the protection of
diversity. Witness, for example, the derisive editorials two years ago
when some scientists spoke against the destruction of the last stockpiles
of smallpox virus; they felt that this would be a blow to biodiversity,
being the first deliberate human extinction of another species.
I am eager to hear the opinions of people in the field. I am at
j.fischer at mail.utexas.edu. Thank you.
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