Maori and the McScience of new technologies

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Biotechnology and nanotechnology research and development, by By Dr Jessica Hutchings and Dr Paul Reynolds

Many Maori and other Indigenous peoples have opposed genetic modification, and other new technologies in both indigenous and non-indigenous forums. Part of the resistance to new technologies is the impact they have on cultural values and the environment.

This paper presents a critical response to the McScience of new technologies, in particular biotechnology and nanotechnology. Within this paper we build on the previous work of other key writers and commentators in this field and discuss some of the critical issues emerging from the platform of new technologies with relevance to Maori and other indigenous peoples.

Specifically we discuss the reductionist and mechanist nature of western science and examine the manipulative framing and use of language within this scientific paradigm. We also consider the implications of the western science paradigm for Maori and other Indigenous peoples.

To overlook a Maori analysis of new technologies is to limit the intellectual analysis of nano and other new technologies. In fact, it is our Treaty right to provide a Maori analysis to inform the decisions on how this technology proceeds. Key words: maori, nanotechnology, biotechnology, indigenous, genetic engineering, science, reductionist, Treaty of Waitangi.

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