Self-Regulation of Recombinant DNA Technology in Japan in the 1970s
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Recombinant DNA technology was developed in the United States in the early 1970s. Leading scientists held an international Asilomar Conference in 1975 to examine the self-regulation of recombinant DNA technology, followed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health drafting the Recombinant DNA Research Guidelines in 1976. The result of this conference significantly affected many nations, including Japan. However, there have been few historical studies on the self-regulation of recombinant technologies conducted by scientists and government officials in Japan. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how the Science Council of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and the Science and Technology Agency developed self-regulation policies for recombinant DNA technology in Japan in the 1970s. Groups of molecular biologists and geneticists played a key role in establishing guidelines in cooperation with government officials. Our findings suggest that self-regulation policies on recombinant DNA technology have influenced safety management for the life sciences and establishment of institutions for review in Japan.
- Hist Sci
Hist Sci 19(1), 1-18, 2009-07-31
The History of Science Society of Japan