What financial and economic dynamics underpin biotech and biomedical research? How can we embed our concerns about social and economic inequities in an understanding of economic policies and practices? How do unrealistic promises about new biotechnologies as solutions to world hunger, cancer and the energy crises enter the public imagination and the private economic sphere?
What efforts have been made, and what efforts should be made, to increase public awareness about the commercial and corporate interests involved in current and emerging biotechnologies? How have intellectual property regimes, especially patents on human genes and life forms, been challenged in recent decades? How can we shift the traditional focus of the patent system on economics so that it includes consideration of the public interest – including ethical, social, health and environmental implications?
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