‘Amoral’ Biotechnology and a Norwegian Moral Domain
In Norway, genetic technology2 and its human proponents, biotechnologists, are considered morally suspect and are excluded from ‘good society’ through regulatory processes that embrace consumer protest, environmental activism and manufacturers’ reluctance. This chapter presents selected ethnographic data on the terms of inclusion and exclusion in the relations between government regulators and biotechnologists. It is argued that exclusion is actually due to the technology’s/technologists’ challenge to central Norwegian moral values of ‘equality as sameness’. Genetic technology enters the field as a would-be amoral agent, and those who interact with it are subsequently set the impossible task of reconciling amoral genetic technology with existing value systems, leading to personal and professional distress. These conflicts offer insight into the identity forming processes of persons and things, and the contours of a Norwegian social and moral domain where amoral science is irreconcilable with social inclusion.