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Public Underst Sci. 2008 Oct;17(4):473-84.

The meanings of genomics: a focus group study of "interested" and lay classifications of salmon genomics.

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Sauder School of Business, W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, University of British Columbia.


Risk researchers have traditionally examined technologies that have become stigmatized in the public realm. In this study, we examine a prior cognitive phenomenon, which assumes that technologies are classified according to the non-scientific taxonomies that individuals use to make sense of the world. We describe the coarse taxonomies revealed during five focus groups involving expert and non-expert participants. The study suggests that in discussions of salmon genomics, participants consistently conflate genomic research with transgenic applications. The authors discuss the implications of this phenomenon for public policy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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