The possibility of cloning a human being still arouses great attention in the public sphere, especially when the media cover stories about this. Subsequently to Dolly’s birth and after the cloning of other mammalians, the public debate results to be particularly sensitive to the theme of reproduction through the technique of cloning.

Therefore is not surprising that the announcement of the birth of Eve, the first baby-girl cloned by self-styled scientists in collaboration with the Raelians’ sect, made between the 28 th December of 2003 and the 13 th January of 2003, caused a sensation. The paper focuses not on the causes of such sensation, but on the attempt to use controversies about Eve’s birth to let emerge the connections which tightly bind, in our cultural system, the reproduction processes with the processes of construction of identity. Through the analysis of the 112 articles published on the main Italian newspapers in the period between the 28 th December of 2002 and the 13 th  January of 2004, the main actors involved will be highlighted, together with the themes object of discussion, in order to give a clear overview of the framework where the theme of cloning joins together with the theme of assisted fertilisation, with the theme of human reproduction and, at large, with the theme of identity.

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Eve’s sons. the debate on human cloning in the Italian press after raelians?
Announcement

Federico Neresini   Department of Sociology, Padova University, Italy

The possibility of cloning a human being still arouses great attention in the public sphere, especially when the media cover stories about this. Subsequently to Dolly’s birth and after the cloning of other mammalians, the public debate results to be particularly sensitive to the theme of reproduction through the technique of cloning.

Therefore is not surprising that the announcement of the birth of Eve, the first baby-girl cloned by self-styled scientists in collaboration with the Raelians’ sect, made between the 28 th December of 2003 and the 13 th January of 2003, caused a sensation. The paper focuses not on the causes of such sensation, but on the attempt to use controversies about Eve’s birth to let emerge the connections which tightly bind, in our cultural system, the reproduction processes with the processes of construction of identity. Through the analysis of the 112 articles published on the main Italian newspapers in the period between the 28 th December of 2002 and the 13 th  January of 2004, the main actors involved will be highlighted, together with the themes object of discussion, in order to give a clear overview of the framework where the theme of cloning joins together with the theme of assisted fertilisation, with the theme of human reproduction and, at large, with the theme of identity.

[PDF 49.65 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 49.65 kB)

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