In this paper we will attempt to scrutinize the framing of biotechnologies in Greece, where the debates over biotechnologies have been following rather than leading their counterparts in other European countries. Initially, public awareness about the applications of biotechnologies has not been comparable to that of other countries of the European Union. In fact, the Greek public has been by and large uninformed of the innovative biotechnological applications until the mid 1990s. Curiously, the initial unawareness about these issues in the early 1990s has not been translated to negative public stance towards biotechnologies. Nevertheless, the increased media coverage of issues such as the cloning of Dolly has ignited public debates. Subsequently, it has been the permission for experimental cultivations of GM crops in Greece that provided to NGOs and consumers’ organisations the opportunity to set the agenda in terms of protest mobilisations leading to a suspension of these cultivations. Subsequently, the Greek government has been trying to incorporate the EU directives rather than making attempts to promote public engagement with biotechnologies.

Our aim will be to give a picture of both the impact of the novel applications of biotechnologies on the Greek society and the public responses to it. For this purpose, we will provide an account of the public debates about biotechnologies in Greece during the 1980s and the 1990s. We will focus on the key decisions in regulating biotechnologies as well as on issues pertaining to public engagement with biotechnology in Greece, such as the agenda setting role of the actors involved in policy-making, the formats of participation and the framing of issues, expertise and the publics. To accomplish this we are going to utilise the results of a survey of a Greek daily newspaper’s articles concerning biotechnologies.

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Framing biotechnologies in Greece

Moses A. Boudourides   University of Patras

In this paper we will attempt to scrutinize the framing of biotechnologies in Greece, where the debates over biotechnologies have been following rather than leading their counterparts in other European countries. Initially, public awareness about the applications of biotechnologies has not been comparable to that of other countries of the European Union. In fact, the Greek public has been by and large uninformed of the innovative biotechnological applications until the mid 1990s. Curiously, the initial unawareness about these issues in the early 1990s has not been translated to negative public stance towards biotechnologies. Nevertheless, the increased media coverage of issues such as the cloning of Dolly has ignited public debates. Subsequently, it has been the permission for experimental cultivations of GM crops in Greece that provided to NGOs and consumers’ organisations the opportunity to set the agenda in terms of protest mobilisations leading to a suspension of these cultivations. Subsequently, the Greek government has been trying to incorporate the EU directives rather than making attempts to promote public engagement with biotechnologies.

Our aim will be to give a picture of both the impact of the novel applications of biotechnologies on the Greek society and the public responses to it. For this purpose, we will provide an account of the public debates about biotechnologies in Greece during the 1980s and the 1990s. We will focus on the key decisions in regulating biotechnologies as well as on issues pertaining to public engagement with biotechnology in Greece, such as the agenda setting role of the actors involved in policy-making, the formats of participation and the framing of issues, expertise and the publics. To accomplish this we are going to utilise the results of a survey of a Greek daily newspaper’s articles concerning biotechnologies.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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