In this classic article from The Ecologist, Australian psychiatrist Dr David Straton explains how genetic engineering is carried out and the risks posed by the technique. While the article dates from 1977, it is still relevant.
Genetic engineering has aroused an unprecedented controversy in the scientific world. It has been described by one Nobel prize winner as creating the greatest ethical problem that science has ever had to face. Another Nobel prize winner has been quoted as calling its critics “shits and incompetents”. This article throws some light on this heated debate by describing some of the techniques involved, tracing the history of the controversy, and summarizing the arguments on each side. It concludes that a wider public debate is needed.
Straton, D (1977). The Genetic Engineering Debate. The Ecologist. 7 (10):381-388.