Although a little over ten years ago the concept of genomics itself was hardly known outside the molecular biologists’ circle, these days it has become routine for a whole contingent of researchers from various backgrounds. In various countries, investment in research into the ‘social’ implications of this new technology followed in the slipstream of large-scale public investment in genomics. This social research around the life sciences has become known under the name ELSA (Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects) and covers a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
“In many countries, ELSA genomics was initiated top-down, certainly also in response to the social debate about biotechnology in the late nineties. Such a controversy had to be avoided in regard to genomics,” said Bernhard Wieser, senior researcher at the Interuniversitäres Forschungszentrum für Technik, Arbeit und Kultur (IFZ) of the University of Graz, Austria.
Courtesy LEV Magazine.