What Are Stem Cells?: Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics

What Are Stem Cells?: Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics

by John Alexander Lynch

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Overview

What Are Stem Cells?: Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics by John Alexander Lynch

In recent years political, religious, and scientific communities have engaged in an ethical debate regarding the development of and research on embryonic stem cells. Does the manipulation of embryonic stem cells destroy human life? Or do limitations imposed on stem cell research harm patients who might otherwise benefit?
 
John Lynch’s What Are Stem Cells? identifies the moral stalemate between the rights of the embryo and the rights of the patient and uses it as the framework for a larger discussion about the role of definitions as a key rhetorical strategy in the debate. In the case of stem cells, the controversy arises from the manner in which stem cells are defined—in particular, whether they are defined with an appeal to their original source or to their future application. Definitions such as these, Lynch argues, are far more than convenient expository references; they determine the realities of any given social discourse.
 
Lynch addresses definitions conceptually—their stability in the face of continual technological innovation, their versatility at the crossroads of scientific and public forums, and their translations and retranslations through politics. Most importantly, his work recognizes definitions as central to issues, not only within the topic of stem cell research, but also in all argumentation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780817317485
Publisher: University of Alabama Press
Publication date: 10/06/2011
Series: Albma Rhetoric Cult & Soc Crit Series
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Lynch is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Cincinnati.

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