How Does the European Press Address Cloning? the Answer Depends on the Level of Debate and Who Is Saying What. (Science Journalism)

By Blond, Olivier | Nieman Reports, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

How Does the European Press Address Cloning? the Answer Depends on the Level of Debate and Who Is Saying What. (Science Journalism)


Blond, Olivier, Nieman Reports


Only outside of the continent might people think of Europe as being a fully integrated political and sociological entity. From within, there is a great diversity of thought among the 15 members of the European Union. Divergent views about the scientific issue of cloning offer a perfect example of this disparity. Reporters who cover the issue remain largely prudent since cloning is still an unfolding issue about which there are and will be many different perspectives. But, at times, there are sensational clone-related events that lead to an eruption of more debate.

In Germany, the ruins of fascism and World War II still infiltrate most cultural subjects. In the realm of biotechnology, Germany was among the first western European countries to pass a law forbidding embryo manipulation. Most striking was the publication in 1999 of a book, "Rules for The Human Zoo," written by liberal philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. Many perceived it as a justification of eugenics, whereas Sloterdijk believed he was inviting readers to reflect on new challenges offered by the rapid progress in science.

Starting with a story in the German weekly Die Zeit, a long, complicated debate was engaged. It involved many thinkers and philosophers and resulted in much confusion for everybody, including the participants. Journalists from a number of German and foreign newpapers tried to report accurately on the numerous and evolving points of view, but the debate was blurred because Sloterdijk's text was understood as a justification of eugenics and Nazism. This prominent philosopher argued against these accusations, presenting himself as a left-wing thinker. But the emotions connected with these accusations hindered for a long time any subsequent assessment of his ideas.

In France, history also twists the debate. Many intellectuals want to address cloning while considering policies involving universal human rights. They establish themselves as abstract consciousness for the human being--an echo of the French revolution. The various scientists who have led the national ethics committee, like Axel Kahn, frequently addressed the press on the issue of cloning. (Revision of the bioethics law was due in 1998 but is still delayed.) But if this debate is regularly portrayed in the newspapers, it has not yet found its place on the political agenda since it seems that politicians are afraid to take a position on such a sensitive issue. Only a few days after former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said he would authorize therapeutic cloning, he withdrew his decision. In the recent presidential campaign, French leaders did not address the cloning issue.

In contrast to theoretical debates in France and Germany, cloning has been considered as an issue of practical concern in Italy. There, citizens wanted to know more about the possibility of giving birth at an older age and about specific benefits they might receive from the current progress of scientific research and new opportunities offered through genetic engeneering. Until July 2001, Italy had some of the most tolerant laws regarding the use of fertility science in Europe. A post-menopausal woman could receive implants as a method of giving birth.

In Italy, however, one name became emblematic of this scientific controversy--as Sloterdijk did in Germany. That name is Severino Antinori, a professor of medicine at the University of Rome. In August 2001, Antinori was the first to publicly announce the launching of diverse human cloning programs. Accompanied by slogans such as "reproductive cloning is a form of therapy," his comments provoked many emotional reactions, as he had obviously hoped they would.

While covering such news, journalists inform readers of the general trend against reproductive cloning, and they often react negatively to Antinori's flamboyant speeches.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How Does the European Press Address Cloning? the Answer Depends on the Level of Debate and Who Is Saying What. (Science Journalism)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.