376 pages, 5 figs
This book examines the initial commercial uses of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering is one of the most modern, controversial and dynamic of the science-based technologies. It is not an object, but a set of techniques or way of doing things. The development of these technologies from the 1970s onwards illustrates the changing relationships between universities and firms, and between basic science and research oriented towards commercial uses. The main focus of the book is on two firms DS Genentech in the United States and Kabi in Sweden and their activities and 'knowledge-seeking' behaviour in the development of human growth hormone and how those ran in parallel with university science.
provides a wonderful window into the history. If this study was merely that, it would be an important work. But it is more. McKelvey's study is a major addition to the growing collection of detailed technological histories that are gradually giving scholars of technological advance understanding of the key processes involved. Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University
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