Separated at birth? Consensus and contention in the UK agriculture and human biotechnology commissions

Mavis Jones, John Walls, Tom Horlick Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In 1999, the UK Government responded to escalating tensions surrounding biotechnology governance by creating two strategic, non-statutory advisory bodies: the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) and the Human Genetics Commission (HGC). They were designed to represent diverse stakeholder perspectives, operate transparently and engage with a variety of interested individuals and groups. This was a shift in meta-governance involving the creation of boundary organisations, discipline-bridging instruments of governance that serve to stabilise, clarify and legitimise policy advice. This paper has two main objectives: to conduct a comparative exploration of the relative success of HGC and AEBC as boundary organisations; and to test the utility of an analysis of public meeting transcripts, supplemented by interview data, in identifying factors contributing to consensus and contention in these twin Commissions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-744
Number of pages16
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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