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Series:

Linda Hadfield

The genetic modification of crops and foodstuffs (GM) is one of the most contentious issues of public science policy. In 2002, the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) organised a public debate on GM, which included the creation of a website to which members of the public could post comments between August 2002 and May 2003.

The research described in this paper entails analysis of the responses to this consultation, using qualitative social science techniques, aimed at identifying both the range of views which exist on the substantive issue of GM technology, and the ways in which they are understood by the participants.

An earlier stage of the research found that differences of perspective may embody differing assumptions concerning degrees of belief, time and the types of criteria on which truth claims may be made. The present paper extends the understanding of these dimensions by using them to classify and interrogate the contributions further.

The research has implications for other issues characterised by controversy and polarisation of views; for the effectiveness of public policy on such issues; and for the relationship between science, the public and government.

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Moy McCrory

The Irish in Britain have only recently been granted ethnic status. This blind spot which existed towards the Irish community, even as highly visible negative assumptions about the Irish circulated, resulted in a strange invisibility which simultaneously derided as it denied Irish identity, and failed to acknowledge the Irish as an ethnic group. This has effected how the generation born from the 1950’s/60’s migration into England can both consider and describe their notion of identity. Silence, denial and over identification reveal how the sense of non belonging, or ‘otherness’ is a common touch stone, and identification as a constant outsider is a prominent note. Criticisms of national identity levelled against the second generation from within the community reveal attitudes about ownership of a ‘nationhood’ which is still contested ground. Identity displayed through those visible traditions which are frequently stronger in displaced communities can not be taken as the sole markers of national belonging as memories, silences and post memories impact on such constantly evolving groups as are created by emigration. Historic patterns and beliefs which are traceable through the images, stories and customs which were originally brought over create an image bank with which the generation born in England might consider and negotiate its relationship to nation and home. This paper asks whether the models this generation grew up with, and which have begun the journey from lived experience into literature and into folklore, can still have a relevant social function when we consider the idea of identity and belonging?

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Yunwen Bai and Lianshan Bi

beliefs of host countries, comply with local laws and regulations, and promote the concerted development of the local economy, environment and communities. The Guidelines also put forward requirements on environmental assessment, pollutant control and emergency response plan. 13 China Chamber of Commerce

Sean Cubitt

For the last twenty years ecology, the last great political movement of the 20th century, has fired the imaginations not only of political activists but of popular movements throughout the industrialised world. EcoMedia is an enquiry into the popular mediations of environmental concerns in popular film and television since the 1980s. Arranged in a series of case studies on bio-security, relationships with animals, bioethics and biological sciences, over-fishing, eco-terrorism, genetic modification and global warming, EcoMedia offers close readings of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Miyazake's Princess Mononoke, The Perfect Storm, X-Men and X2, The Day After Tomorrow and the BBC's drama Edge of Darkness and documentary The Blue Planet. Drawing on the thinking of Flusser, Luhmann, Latour, Agamben and Bookchin, EcoMedia discusses issues from whether animals can draw and why we like to draw animals, to how narrative films can imagine global processes, and whether wonder is still an ethical pleasure. Building on the thesis that popular film and television can tell us a great deal about the state of contemporary beliefs and anxieties, the book builds towards an argument that the polis, the human world, cannot survive without a three way partnership with physis and techne, the green world and the technological.

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Eamonn Wall

“Digging into the west: Tim Robinson’s Deep Landscapes” is a detailed exploration of Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage with the purpose of describing Robinson’s response to Aran Islands landscape and his efforts to map Inishmore, the largest of the islands. Robinson begins by drawing a traditional map though, when he finds such maps lacking in scope, he moves on to create a deep-map — one that includes the history, languages, folklore, and religious beliefs of the island and its people. His prose work is compared and contrasted to Synge’s The Aran Islands, the most famous modern work that examines the islands, and it is shown the degree to which Robinson has sought to revise Synge’s interpretation. This essay is underlined by the works of other writers and scholars who have written influential works on landscape — Declan Kiberd and William Least Heat-Moon, in particular.

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Marjorie Vanbaelinghem

This article sets out to reconsider the place of landscape in British painting since the 1980s. In doing so, it aims at going against the grain of many common critical beliefs, particularly the one that opposes Land Art as radically modernist to neo-figurative painting seen as a return to the national tradition of landscape-painting. Analysing the works of such painters as Maurice Cockrill, Michael Andrews or Peter Doig, and focusing on the way their technical innovations question or blur landscape, one can see that landscape is not to be merely taken as the subject-matter of their oeuvre It is the tradition of landscape which the artists are interested in, as what allows for reflection over artistic practice, as well as experimentation on the relationship between viewer and artwork. Ultimately, as such aspects bring these painters close to the practice of other contemporary artists, like Julian Opie or Darren Almond, and give landscape both a passive and active status, as object and subject, landscape may appear as a reflection of/on the state of British art at the end of the twentieth century.

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Hannes Bergthaller

For Emerson and those nature writers who followed his lead, it is the belief in nature’s permanence and consistency which allows them to pursue the project of deriving ‘spiritual facts’ from ‘natural facts,’ making nature the normative ground on which to raise their critiques of modern society.

In her novel Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson unmoors this ‘House of Emerson,’ the intellectual heritage of American transcendentalism. In her representations of the natural world, the protagonist Ruth employs a typological language that reverberates strongly with that of Emerson and Thoreau. However, rather than using this language to gesture towards an originary moment of unmediated experience in which the individual mind is aligned with nature’s transcendent design, her version of typology becomes a means of coping with the loss of her dead mother. This essay examines Robinson’s paradoxical method of conjuring presence from absence – her metaphors become as transient as the lifestyle that she embraces at the end of the novel. It is a therapeutic effort to ‘make the world comprehensible and whole’ undertaken in full knowledge of its ultimate futility, ‘a blossom of need’, in Robinson’s diction.

Housekeeping can be read as appropriating and rewriting a tradition which, while professing to leave behind the merely human for a higher order of being, has frequently ended up using nature to empower the subject, to validate its sense of ownership and to naturalise conventional assumptions about gender and nation. It takes seriously the notion of nature’s radical otherness and develops a highly selfreflexive language dramatising the cognitive and ethical quandaries that it entails. Robinson sketches out a version of the sublime that does not subsume its moment of negativity in the sweep towards an affirmation of humankind’s special place in the scheme of things. She reminds her readers that leaving behind anthropocentrism – if it is possible – also means abandoning the oikos, the idea of nature as our home.

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Volume-editor Constance Moffatt and Sara Taglialagamba

new idea that Leonardo was an early founder of the field of dynamics by analyzing the artist’s attempts to measure the intensity of percussion through empirical research. Contrary to earlier belief that his ideas were purely intuitive, Bernardoni shows that his methods compare with modern ones of

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Kay Etheridge

models of changes in the earth. As for the beliefs of his contemporaries with a more traditional vision, Leonardo mocked such thinking, writing that … if you were to say that these shells have been created and are still constantly being created in such places by the nature of the locality and through

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Sara Taglialagamba

scientific principle of Optics, the rediscovery of Antiquity (Hero of Alexandria, Archimedes, and above all Vitruvius) and the Aristotelian belief of the superior value of sight above all other senses, technical design made a leap in quality during the Renaissance. However, there was a great difference