Loka Alert 6:7 (22 Nov. 1999)
Please Repost Widely Where Appropriate
THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS: THE UNITED STATES VERSUS EUROPE
by Phil Bereano and Florian Kraus
Friends & Colleagues:
Why are genetically modified foods ("gene foods") more hotly contested politically in Europe than in the United States? In this Loka Alert, Phil Bereano and Florian Kraus argue that actually U.S. citizen concern about gene foods is growing, and that U.S. government policies may, as a result, be shifting. They also dissect factors -- ranging from contrasting political systems to cultural, historical and technological variations -- that help explain why the politics of agricultural biotechnology have been playing out differently on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
This Alert also offers brief updates on the Loka Institute's project to create a Community Research Network and on other initiatives worldwide to make research, science and technology more democratically responsive.
This is one in an occasional series on the democratic politics of research, science, and technology issued free of charge by the nonprofit Loka Institute. To be added to the Loka Alert E-mail list, or to reply to this post, please send a message to <Loka@Loka.org>. To be removed from the list, send an E-mail with no subject or message text to <email@example.com>. (If that fails, just notify us at <Loka@Loka.org>). IF YOU ENJOY LOKA ALERTS, PLEASE INVITE INTERESTED FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES TO SUBSCRIBE TOO. Thanks!
Cheers to all, Dick Sclove, Founder & Research Director The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA E-mail <Loka@Loka.org>, Web <http://www.Loka.org> Tel. +1-413-559-5860; Fax +1-413-559-5811
(I) "THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS: U.S. VERSUS EUROPE" by Phil Bereano & Florian Kraus...................(7 pages)
(II) LOKA INSTITUTE PROJECT UPDATES:
(A) COMMUNITY RESEARCH NETWORK (CRN): Ethical Guidelines Workshop..............(1/3 page)
(B) RECENT PUBLICATIONS...................(1 paragraph)
(III) DEMOCRATIZING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: UPDATES FROM ABROAD (Canadian Community Research Initiatives; Citizen Panel Updates from Austria, France, Japan, and Switzerland; European Participatory Technology Assessment [EUROpTA] Project)..............(1 page)
(IV) INTERNSHIPS AT THE LOKA INSTITUTE............(1/3 page)
(V) ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE..................(1 paragraph)
(I) THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS: THE UNITED STATES VERSUS EUROPE
by Phil Bereano <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Florian Kraus University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
"Why are people in the United States seemingly untroubled by a technology that causes Europeans so many difficulties?" -- _Science_ magazine, on genetically engineered foods (16 July 1999)
The clash over foods made from genetically modified plants ("gene foods") highlights the clash between economic, scientific, and cultural interests in the world that is being shaped by the World Trade Organization. U.S. agricultural exports were worth $50 billion last year, more than 7 percent of the nation's total exports. Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat has warned that the resistance of the European Union (EU) consumers to genetically modified crops "is the single greatest trade threat that we face."
"In Europe, across the whole food technology front, confusion and hysteria have displaced reason and economics, with incalculable costs to those who are trying to bring new and beneficial innovations to the market," editorialized the _Wall Street Journal_ recently. Using intemperate and emotive language, the _Journal_ referred to the European "Luddite tides," charging that "in Europe, on matters of trade and technology, the mob has been running the show for awhile."
This growing controversy over genetically altered foods has recently occupied the U.S. radio waves, appeared in front page stories of national and local newspapers, and been featured in the major electronic 'zines.
In early June, when the EU's environmental ministers agreed to a de facto moratorium on the approval of genetic foods for several years, the _San Francisco Examiner_ noted that "the biotechnology industry -- led by Monsanto, Novartis, Dow, DuPont, AgrEvo, and Zeneca -- calls rising criticism in Europe 'hysteria and hype' from the food scare over 'mad cow' disease in England and dioxin in feed, poultry, beef and butter in Belgium."
THE "OFFICIAL LINE"
The bioindustry and U.S. government officials have united in denying that genetically engineered foods are significantly different from natural ones. "A tomato is a tomato is a tomato," said Brian Sansoni, of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, evoking the image of Gertrude Stein plopping down to a summer salad. Trying to quarantine the "contagion" threatening American exports and corporate profits, their spin on the situation consists of three main arguments: the Europeans are technophobic, they are anti-American, and they have a strong distrust of government regulators.
Jim Murphy, an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, attributed European timidity to old-world conservatism: "They are culturally risk-averse to try new things," he said, adding that he jokes to his European friends that "the definition of an American is a risk-taking European."
"Agricultural protectionism" was the reason offered by _The New York Times_: "Europe resents the fact that many of the patents on genetically modified crops with bred-in high yields and resistance to parasites are held by American companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow." _Science_ magazine blamed regulatory distrust.
According to Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, "[the Europeans] just don't have, really, the same kind of sophisticated mechanism to scientifically examine food products and determine if they're safe that we do." (This ignores the reality that 76 million Americans are food poisoned annually, despite such vaunted U.S. regulatory vigor.)
However, consumers in the United States are demonstrably concerned about genetically engineered foods. Why, then, has it been so easy to establish the myth that Americans are "accepting" of this technology? We suggest three reasons: (1) unlike in Europe, a very large proportion of Americans are ignorant about the extent to which genetic engineering is affecting the foods they already consume; (2) there has been active corporate/governmental collusion (with media cooperation) in the U.S. to pacify the development and expression of any such concerns; and (3) American political culture provides a limited range of possibilities for such concerns to be expressed and debated.
IGNORANCE AND COLLUSION
A poll this summer by the world's largest independent public relations firm found that 62% of Americans were unaware that gene foods were already being marketed. In actuality, 35% percent of the 1999 U.S. corn acreage and 55% of soy acreage has been genetically modified. It is estimated that approximately 60% of the processed foods in a U.S. consumer's shopping cart may have genetically engineered constituents.
In the 1980s, the Republican Administration decided that the new technology of genetic engineering should be handled by using existing regulatory statutes rather than -- as in Europe -- going to the legislature for a new comprehensive law. As a result, there was little public discussion and the resulting U.S. "regulatory" scheme is makeshift, full of absurdities and loopholes, as a cover story in _The New York Times Magazine_ entitled "Playing God in the Garden" documented a year ago.
Based on a policy authored by his industry Council on Competitiveness, then-Vice President Dan Quayle announced in May 1992 that the U.S. government would consider genetically engineered crops to be no different from those bred traditionally. The official Food & Drug Administration(FDA) document asserted that "the agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."
In fact, under records uncovered in the course of a pending lawsuit, we now know that the U.S. Government ignored the advice of its own FDA scientists that gene foods should get special evaluation because of their risks of producing toxins and allergies. One FDA scientist had written that"there is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering, which is just glanced over in this document," adding that aspects of genetic engineering "may be more hazardous".
Another staffer characterized the FDA as "trying to fit a square peg into a round hole," concluding that "the processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks."
President Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture has railed against the EU's apprehensions by saying, "We will not be pushed into allowing political science to govern these concerns." The new U.S. Ambassador to the EU has chided Europeans to "separate science-based risk assessment and regulations from the political process." And in Europe in recent weeks, three top officials of the U.S. Commerce Department have lectured Europeans to stop their "irrational and collective fear" and adopt a process "based on science and not on anxiety."
Yet, it is the U.S. government that has hypocritically elevated politics and economics above a reasoned scientific assessment of gene foods.
U.S. CITIZEN CONCERNS
Actually, there has been a considerable amount of U.S. citizen concern about the applications of new biotechnologies, as even the _Wall Street Journal_ noted earlier this summer.
Numerous consumer surveys have shown that huge majorities of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods and would avoid buying them if they were clearly labeled. Two years ago, even biotech giant Novartis found 93% of Americans in favor of labeling; the last poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1995, found 84% in favor, and a Time magazine survey within the past year put the percentage at 81.
Why aren't these polls more effective in determining U.S. policy? Dick Morris, former policy director in the Clinton White House (who relied extensively on surveys and focus groups for advising the President) has indicated that government officials ignore such majorities to pursue the goals of elite minorities, "just as they ignore the 72% who want to increase taxes on the wealthy, and the 77% who feel that corporations have too much power, and the 64% who want guaranteed health care for all."
This spin is exemplified by a recent major article in the _New York Times_ which suggested that U.S. consumers "seem hardly to care" about genetic alterations of what they eat. Media and policy makers conveniently forget that the 1992 Food & Drug Administration deregulatory initiative stimulated almost 4,000 comments, with many calling for safety testing and the vast majority asking for labeling. Among those making such requests were the Attorneys General of 8 U.S. states, the American Association of Retired Persons, and the trade association of US chefs.
Consumers Union, the oldest and largest association of American consumers, has repeatedly and persistently opposed -- on behalf of its 4.7 million member households -- U.S. government failures to adequately handle this new technology. In its September 1999 issue of _Consumer Reports_, it called again for gene food evaluation and labeling. The National Nutritional Foods Association, a trade group representing the retailers and manufacturers of dietary supplements and natural foods, has called for U.S. labeling on the simple ground that "the public has a right to know what they are eating."
Last year, almost 270,000 letter writers testified in opposition to a proposal of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that would have allowed gene foods to fall within the definition of "organic." (The agency has now apparently agreed to exclude them). And last June, a petition carrying 500,000 signatures in support of labeling was presented to the White House, Congress, and U.S. governmental agencies.
Thus, there is plenty of evidence that U.S. consumers are becoming aware of gene foods and support mandatory labeling so that they can avoid consuming them. This is hardly the mark of apathy.
IS U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY CHANGING?
Corn and soy exports from the U.S. have been drastically reduced because U.S. producers have not segregated the genetically engineered varieties. Buyers, especially in the EU, won't buy the tainted mixtures. As a result, U.S. corn farmers have probably lost about $200 million this year. One of the largest domestic exporters, Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, has announced that farmers and grain elevators must segregate corn for export; and Gerber baby foods is making its domestic and European practices consistent by refusing to use genetically modified ingredients. Such actions by major producing corporations will bolster the economic value of growing unmodified varieties.
Despite efforts of members of U.S. Congress (led by Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri, where Monsanto is headquartered) to get the Administration to push for "success in world markets" by "removing unfair trade barriers" to engineered foods in Europe, the Administration may be signaling some change in its policies.
Last April, in a speech at Purdue University, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Glickman noted:
"We cannot be science's blind servant. We have to understand its ethical, safety and environmental implications. Our testing has to be rigorous....We also can't force these new genetically engineered food products down consumers' throats....[D]ismissing the skepticism that is out there is not only arrogant, it's also a bad business strategy....Also, we have to be careful about ratcheting up the expectations on some of these technologies. There is no one silver bullet that will allow us to meet all of tomorrow's agricultural and food security challenges....[L]et's not put all of our eggs in the biotech basket."
Meanwhile, a recent report for the Deutsche Bank, Europe's largest, recommended that investors sell their holdings of genetic engineering stocks. It noted that:
"The European concerns are very real. In the past month, a senior manager at a European-based chemical giant expressed serious reservations to us about the benignness of GMOs [genetically modified organisms] and said that given a choice, he would select non-GMOs any day. By the way, the company he works for is actively involved in ag-biotechnology."
U.S.-EU SOCIETAL DIFFERENCES
While North Atlantic culture is highly homogeneous when contrasted with other portions of the globe, there are still considerable differences between Europe and the United States. However, the explanations for their biotech policy differences are not those offered by official industry and government apologists attempting to justify the American failure to provide oversight. Five areas probably account for the significant distinguishing factors.
o Contrasting political mechanisms; o The role of industry in the political economy; o The role of the media; o Geographic factors; and o Historic and cultural factors.
In Europe, the electoral system is based on proportional representation systems. Like-minded groups, such as the environmentalists who formed the Green parties, are represented in the legislative bodies as long as they attract a sufficient number of votes to cross a relatively low threshold (normally 5%). From this position, they have been able to insert genetic engineering concerns into public discourse. However, due to the "winner take all" electoral system in the U.S., minorities of 49% (and their issues) can be ignored by legislative representatives.
THE AGRIBUSINESS/GOVERNMENT REVOLVING DOOR
A major Canadian national paper, _Toronto's Globe and Mail_, has observed:
"Monsanto, which makes large donations to both the Democratic and Republican parties and to congressional legislators on food-safety committees, has become a virtual retirement home for members of the Clinton Administration. Trade and environmental protection administrators and other Clinton appointees have left to take up lucrative positions on Monsanto's board, while Monsanto and other biotech executives pass through the same revolving door to take up positions in the administration and its regulatory bodies."
One Monsanto Board member is Mickey Kantor, the chairman of Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and a former U.S. Chief Trade Negotiator. Marcia Hale, another former Clinton aide, is now Monsanto's international regulatory director. At the cusp of the Bush and Clinton Administrations, when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) was drawing up its position against the labeling of gene foods, one of the key decision makers was Michael Taylor, previously a lawyer for Monsanto. When the FDA approved recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) for use in cows in 1993, the regulatory process was guided by former Monsanto employees, then at the FDA, who subsequently went back to work for the company.
A 1998 analysis of Monsanto's workings in the _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_ found that "where Monsanto seeks to sow, the US government clears the ground." Administration officials have taken the lead in lobbying for the company and the rest of the biotech industry in trade confrontations with Europe, New Zealand, and Asia.
ROLE OF THE MEDIA
The variety of opinions reflected in the media of the United States is limited, and coverage of biotech issues has been sporadic and generally uncritical. As Max Frankel of the _New York Times_ editorial board has put it, "a corporate plutocracy dominates political speech in America."
The choice and coverage of topics in the U.S. media appears strongly dependent upon two factors: corporate ownership patterns/interlocking boards of directors, and sources of advertising revenues. Furthermore, the companies controlling U.S. media have steadily consolidated during the last decades, as the recent CBS/Viacom merger typified. In Europe it is nearly impossible to have such a concentration of media power in the hands of a few companies.
Compared to agribusiness in the U.S., farm land in Europe is much more integrated into citizens' daily lives. Government planning provides sharp urban boundaries where farms exist, and commuters may even pass livestock daily. Europeans have more contact with farming, in part because many more of their relatives still live in rural areas. There is heightened awareness in Europe of the way food is produced. The production of food is not a mystery, only visible in terms of its output, plastically wrapped on supermarket shelves.
In America, farming and everyday urban life are largely separated. The actual share of people working on a farm is only two percent of the population. The EU rural population is 50% larger.
OTHER CULTURAL AND HISTORIC FACTORS
The American self-image is one of pioneers and adventurers. Thus, one news magazine recently surmised that "Americans may be culturally more inclined to embrace new technology than are Europeans." Yet any visitor to Europe knows that it is chocked full of power plants, telecommunications gadgets, and consumer goodies. The problem with biotechnology may be not that it is a technology, but that it is dealing with food.
The noted science journalist Daniel Greenberg agreed in the _Washington Post_: "The transatlantic difference may be that Americans are accustomed to a steady stream of novel products from a highly competitive food industry, whereas Europeans tend to be more traditional about what they eat." Every American traveler to Europe is aware of the fact that food occupies a place of high importance in the European lifestyle, far beyond what is common in the United States. Major European cities are still full of many small markets and specialty food shops.
In contrast to the homogenization fostered by U.S. multinationals, Europeans prize the variety of local foods; Churchill once referred to France as a "nation of 350 cheeses." For many foodstuffs, national laws are in place to intricately regulate the wording on their labels -- Appenzeller cheese is only from one place in the world, as is Chateau Neuf-du-Pape wine.
Whereas the US word "farm" symbolizes an agribusiness production facility, the European notion encompasses something traditional, rural, and idyllic. Travel agencies in Germany, France and Italy offer vacation holidays on the farm, so that individuals or whole families can get back to their bucolic roots.
In recent decades, Europe has experienced a series of severe negative impacts from the use of modern technologies, undoubtedly playing some role in shaping that continent's attitudes. European caution is often chided as childish anxiety by U.S. critics, rather than a mature willingness to learn from experience. The modification of agricultural products in foods to create "super organisms" evokes the memory of the Nazi plan to create a "super race" by genetic selection.
However, it is the experience with Britain's mismanagement of "mad cow disease" which has convinced European consumers that it is best to proceed cautiously with food technologies. In June 1987 the British government knew that the feeding of meat and bone meal to cows were the main infection routes. Stating that there was no evidence that humans could catch the disease, it allowed infected cows to be sold for human consumption. This calculus, placing short-term economic interests (this market for beef and veal is worth $3.1 billion) over human health, made European consumers extremely suspicious of governmental regulators. The recent discoveries of dioxin in Belgian foodstuffs and tainted Coca-Cola have perpetuated this consumer demand for prudence.
Other technologies touted as totally safe and necessary for a modern economy, most notably nuclear power, have had disastrous consequences in Europe. The meltdown of the Chernobyl plant in 1986 exposed millions of Europeans to high levels of radiation, and resulted in the necessary destruction of huge amounts of plant and animal foodstuffs.
PRUDENCE IS A VIRTUE
According to Gillian K. Hadfield, a professor of law at the University of Toronto:
"It's wrong to view consumer resistance as just anti-science hysteria. Many people make food choices based on ethical considerations, deciding not to eat veal, or mass-produced chickens or non-organic produce. If biotechnology raises ethical and environmental concerns for them, it is not irrational for them to act on these."
The fundamental ideology in Europe is not "timidity" but rather the Precautionary Principle. Europeans prefer to step back in the face of uncertainty and act prudently rather than recklessly. The U.S. used to abide by this approach in public policy, but it has increasingly abandoned it under pressure from powerful corporations seeking short-term profits.
There are many reasons suggested above for the early European heightened concern about genetic engineering. But U.S. public discourse is now approaching that common in Europe. Today, transnational corporations which have agreed to leave genetically engineered components out of their European foods are being pressed to do the same for American stomachs.
In democratic societies, citizens have the right to protect themselves from having risks thrust upon them for the economic benefits of others. "Look before you leap" -- requiring adequate risk assessments of genetically altered foods, requiring the proponents of these technological changes to demonstrate that they are safe, and requiring labeling so that citizens can make informed choices these are reasonable public policies on both sides of the ocean.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Phil Bereano <email@example.com> is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle specializing in technology and public policy. He is a member of the Loka Institute's National Advisory Board <http://www.Loka.org>, and also active in the Council for Responsible Genetics <http://www.gene-watch.org>. Florian Kraus is a German Fulbright scholar who has been doing graduate work at the University of Washington. An edited version of this essay appeared in the _Seattle Times_ newspaper (8 November 1999).
(II) LOKA INSTITUTE PROJECT UPDATES:
(A) COMMUNITY RESEARCH NETWORK (CRN)
The Loka Institute's project to knit together a worldwide network of programs and centers that conduct community-based research <http://www.loka.org/crn/index.htm> is moving forward on multiple fronts. Upcoming:
CRN GUIDELINES PROJECT: As funding for community-based research (CBR) gradually increases, it is essential to ensure that it is channeled, as intended, into effective, community-enhancing research partnerships. On 21-22 January 2000, the Loka Institute is collaborating with a group of CBR stakeholders to develop a set of ethical guidelines for conducting community-based research. While there are already several excellent examples of locally based principles for community-based research, a unified vision -- created by a collaboration of stakeholders from around the world -- has yet to be articulated. We will keep you up-to-date on the status of this project as it proceeds. (A very limited number of spaces are still available for participation in this upcoming January CBR Guidelines Workshop, which will take place in Washington, DC. For further information, please contact Douglas Taylor, Loka Institute CRN Project Director: <Taylor@Loka.org>.)
CRN ANNUAL WORKSHOP 2000: Following last year's highly successful CRN Conference (for an initial report, see <http://www.loka.org/crn/evaluation.html>, plans are now underway for the next Annual CRN Conference in June 2000. We will announce details in a future Loka Alert. For interim information or to participate in planning, please E- mail <Blair@Loka.org>.
(B) RECENT PUBLICATIONS
o Loka Institute Board Member Jeffrey Scheuer has just published: _THE SOUND BITE SOCIETY: TELEVISION AND THE AMERICAN MIND_ (New York and London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1999). "This is the most searching book I have seen on television's assault on our psyches and our society." --Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst, National Public Radio. Information is available on the Web at: <http://www.fourwallseightwindows.com/bookscheuer1.html>.
o Loka Institute Board Chair Carolyn Raffensperger is co-editor, with Joel Tickner, of: _PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT: IMPLEMENTING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE_ (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1999). Information is available on the World Wide Web at: <http://www.islandpress.org/books/bookdata/protpubhe.html>.
(III) DEMOCRATIZING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: UPDATES FROM ABROAD
(A) COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH IN CANADA
The Canadian government is moving swiftly toward the forefront internationally in supporting community-based research. This past January, Canada's Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council announced a new funding initiative entitled "Community University Research Alliances (CURA)" (Information is on the World Wide Web at: <http://www.sshrc.ca/english/programinfo/grantsguide/cura.ht ml>.
Building on the popular CURA initiative, the Canadian government has now announced an ambitious new program that will, among other things, fund community-based health research. It is called Community Alliances for Health Research (CAHR). For details, see: <http://www.sshrc.ca/english/programinfo/cahr.html>.
(B) DELIBERATIVE CITIZENS' PANELS
In April 1997 the Loka Institute and several institutional partners organized the first U.S. participatory Citizen's Panel for deliberating on complex, controversial issues in science and technology policy. Modeled on a Danish-style "consensus conference," the topic of our Citizen's Panel was "Telecommunications and the Future of Democracy" (information is on the Web at: <http://www.loka.org/pages/panel.htm>).
Deliberative Citizen Panels have now been organized at least 38 times in 13 different nations -- including at least nine times on the topic of genetically modified foods. (For an updated list of citizens panels worldwide, with extensive hyperlinks) see <http://www.Loka.org/pages/worldpanels.html>).
The U.S. Congress and Administration now lag embarrassingly behind -- indeed, some would argue that they show contempt for their own citizens -- in choosing not to experiment with the internationally proven Deliberative Citizens' Panel method. Nonetheless, elsewhere the process continues to make strong headway. For example:
** AUSTRIA: A report on the first Austrian "consensus conference," on upper atmospheric ozone pollution (1997), is now on the World Wide Web at: <http://www.tekno.dk/europta/Cases/ozoneweb.htm>.
** FRANCE: A comprehensive report on the June 1998 French "consensus conference" on genetically modified foods has just become available at: <http://www.loka.org/pages/Frenchgenefood.htm>.
** JAPAN: This past summer saw the completion of the second Japanese consensus conference, on the topic of "The Information Society and the Internet." For a very interesting report, see <http://www.ccs.dendai.ac.jp/~consensc/english/internet/repo rts/EUROpTA.html>.
** SWITZERLAND: The second Swiss consensus conference (known as a "PubliForum") took place this past June on the topic of genetically modified foods. For a report, go to <http://www.ta-swiss.ch/frameset_e.htm>, then click on "Participative Methods/PubliForum"
(C) EUROPEAN PARTICIPATORY TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT (EUROpTA) Project
Six European technology assessment organizations (from Denmark, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K.) have received funding from the European Commission to conduct a multi-year, comparative study of participatory technology assessment methods in different countries. Project information -- including project case studies and reports as they become available -- is on the Web at: <http://www.tekno.dk/europta/>.
(IV) LOKA INSTITUTE INTERNSHIPS
The Loka Institute has openings for volunteers, graduate and undergraduate student interns, and work-study students for February 2000 and beyond.
Interns' responsibilities include updating our Web page; managing email lists and listserves; conducting background research on issues concerning science, technology, and society; and helping with administrative work. Interns committing to a semester or more will have the opportunity to integrate independent research into their internship experience.
Candidates should be self-motivated and able to work as part of a team as well as independently. A general knowledge and comfort with computers is needed. Experience in Web page maintenance is preferable. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates are welcome to apply. Loka is able to provide interns with an expense stipend of $35 per day for volunteering (or $700 per month full-time-equivalent).
If you are interested in working with us to promote a democratic politics of science and technology, please send a resume and a succinct cover letter explaining your interest and dates of availability to: The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA. We also are accept applications by e-mail to <Loka@Loka.org> or by fax to +1-413-559-5811.
(V) ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE
The Loka Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making research, science and technology responsive to democratically decided social and environmental concerns. Current Loka projects include:
o The Community Research Network
o Deliberative Citizens' Panels on Science & Technology
o Identifying Democratic Technologies
o Building a Constituency for Democratizing Research, Science & Technology
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE, to participate in our on-line discussion groups, to download or order publications, or to help please visit our Web page: <http://www.Loka.org>. Or contact us via E-mail at <Loka@Loka.org>.
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