What’s Wrong with Genetic Engineering? Ethics, Socioscientific Issues, and Education

  • Bradley D. Rowe
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 3)


In “Moral-Ethical Character and Science Education,” Michael Mueller and Dana Zeidler ground their ecojustice ethic mostly within a consequentialist theoretical framework. Consequentialism is the philosophical theory that determines the morality of an action by looking at the various consequences or effects that the action produces (Troyer 2003). One does not judge an action as morally defensible or indefensible by critiquing the action in of itself, but rather the good or bad effects that follow. For the authors, it is not the immediate act of biogenetically transforming the species Danio rerio into the ornamental, fluorescent-glowing pet fish, “GloFish,” that is morally suspect. It is, instead, the various social and environmental consequences and risks that might, and in fact have, ensued from this act. For this response I will primarily focus on the ethics of what is clearly a forceful socioscientific issue – genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – and extend the ethical-educational conversation started by Mueller and Zeidler.


Genetic Manipulation Ethical Theory Human Person Selective Breeding Nonhuman Animal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank Bryan R. Warnick for his thoughtful comments on previous drafts of this response.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bradley D. Rowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUS

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