Biotechnology education as social and cultural production/reproduction of the biotechnology community
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This paper is a commentary to a paper by Anne Solli, Frank Bach and Björn Åkerman on how students at a technical university learn to argue as biotechnologists. Solli and her colleagues report from an ethnographic study performed during the first semester of a 5-year program in biotechnology at a technical university in Sweden. Their study demonstrates how students begin to acquire ‘the right way’ of approaching the controversial issue of producing and consuming genetically modified organisms. In my response I discuss the ethnographic account of this particular educational practice in terms of social and cultural production/reproduction of a biotechnology community and how the participants (students and teaching professors) deal with the dialectic of individual and collective transformation. In the perspective of the biotechnology community, the work done by the teaching professor becomes a way of ensuring the future of the biotechnology community in terms of what values and objectives are held highly in the community of practice.
KeywordsArgumentation Identity Community Social and cultural reproduction
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