Throughout this project, I benefited from a Standard Grant from the Social Sciences and the Humanities Research Council of Canada, which I thankfully acknowledge. Thanks to Yolanda Massieu for suggesting the first part of the book's title. She also contributed by assessing some of the initial chapter proposals for this volume. Manuel Poitras offered invaluable help in the initial stages of the editorial process, including the review of several proposed chapters. Special thanks are due to Gabriela Pechlaner, my doctoral student since 2002. During this time, not only did she make impressive progress through her program of study, completing a wonderful dissertation in May of 2007, but she was also my research assistant and main interlocutor on this project. As a research assistant, she provided such talented help that she became a coauthor of three of the chapters that follow.
My greatest debt is of course to my contributors, for patiently revising their chapters more than once, first at my request, and then sometimes at the request of external reviewers for the University of Texas Press. These anonymous reviewers, particularly the first one, offered excellent suggestions that helped us to strengthen the book. I deeply appreciate their constructive critiques and positive readings.
This book is dedicated to the memory of Fred Buttel, pioneer in the social study of biotechnology's impacts. He and I engaged in a friendly debate over the character of biotechnology in the early 1990s,1 but the fact remains that his work was greatly influential and inspirational for my own. Furthermore, Fred was one of my most supportive and generous mentors through the middle stages of my professional career. His prolific and crucial contributions to the sociology of agriculture and food, to the sociology of science and technology, and to environmental sociology