This book emerged out of a reading group on biotechnology started in 1997 by several of the contributors. At the time, a number of us were based in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) at the University of California, Berkeley, a place where faculty and students are encouraged to pursue new ideas, eclectic thinking, and socially and environmentally significant research questions. We thank our friends and colleagues both in ERG and in the larger Berkeley community for stimulating the research that ultimately led to this book. We also thank the director of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley, Michael J. Watts, and Professor Steven Weber for channeling key institutional and financial support to this project, ensuring that we would have the facilities (both physical and financial) to continue working collectively on this book, even after most of the original members had moved on to new cities and occupations. Funds for the project were kindly provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the Institute for International Studies at UC Berkeley titled “Globalization and the Rethinking of International Security: Problems of Multilateral Governance and Identity Politics. ”
The coeditors also thank their current departments, the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois and the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for offering supportive environments in which to work. Rachel Schurman gratefully acknowledges the Department of Sociology and the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, and the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies, for providing her with critical release time to work on this book. In addition, the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale provided a wonderful place to read, think, and write in a warm and congenial atmosphere.
Several other people also made important contributions to this project.