The Therapeutic Cloning Debate: Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere

By Yarri, Donna | Ethics & Medicine, Fall 2015 | Go to article overview

The Therapeutic Cloning Debate: Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere


Yarri, Donna, Ethics & Medicine


The Therapeutic Cloning Debate: Global Science and Journalism in the Public Sphere Eric A. Jensen. Ashgate: England and Vermont, 2014. ISBN 978-1 -4094-2982-1, 240 PAGES, CLOTH, $119.95.

The key emphasis of The Therapeutic Cloning Debate is on exploring the role of the news media in the communication of scientific developments with regard to controversial bioethical issues. Jensen provides a systematic exploration of news coverage, especially regarding therapeutic cloning in both the US and the UK from 1997-2013, with a goal of addressing methodological limitations in previous studies. This book explores topics as diverse as the sources of news media coverage, changes in the process of cloning over time, differences between perspectives on the issue in the US and the UK, involvement of NGOs in the debate, and the role of science fiction. However, its conclusion that the media protects and mediates for powerful interest groups is rather sobering. For those uninitiated to the world of journalism, this book offers insight into decisions about how and what news get covered.

The Therapeutic Cloning Debate would be of most interest to journalists and students of journalism since it focuses on the origin, players, and presentation in media coverage rather than with the pros and cons of the ethical debate (although those are indirectly addressed along the way). One of the most interesting features of the book is its analysis of the sources of science news, which include diverse groups such as scientists, celebrities, professional ethicists, NGOs, patient advocates, and anti-abortionists. …

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