Michael Crichton’s Next: The Horror Show Of Capitalism In Biotechnology

2473 words - 10 pages

michael crichton's next: The Horror show of capitalism in biotechnologyBy Satrio Pangarso Wisanggeni 120222415477We've reached the point where we can stick it to Big Pharma-and we will. Those massive, bloated companies need us and they know it. They need genes, they need technology. They're the past. We're the future. We're where the money is! (Crichton, 2006:12)That sentence is uttered by John B. Watson. He is a fictional character from Michael Crichton's novel titled Next. In the novel, Watson was standing in front of the audience of 2006 BioChange Conference in Las Vegas and, as a successful businessman, was talking about the prospect of investing and working in biotechnology industry.As you can see, Watson was trying to promote biotechnology industry as today's first choice in investment by using promises of big and certain profit in the future. He was trying to gain trust from his future investors and employee. Money, trust and modal investment. You could confidently and rightly conclude how they are related to each other (Burner, 2009). Capitalism.Capitalism has been in our society for a long time, 250 years ago, since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the Great Britain. The industrial revolution put feudalism down the throne and crowned capitalism as the new king. Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy. Profit is the goal. There is no other goal, such as sustaining environment or biological diversity.However, up to now, capitalism has given us a lot of many things that other economic system cannot give. Capitalism is desired to generate profit, wealth, efficiently and quickly. In a capitalistic atmosphere too, you will find innovation and intellectual rights.Let's put on halt our talk about capitalism, and move on to biotechnology. Based on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 2, biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, or, any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. If you take a look on biotechnology deeper, biotechnology is not a new thing in science and technology. For thousands of years, humankind has used biotechnology in agriculture, food production, and medicine. The products of biotechnology are not unusual, too. You can categorize the beer you drink and the tofu you ate this morning as examples of it.Today's biotechnology is not dealing with the traditional way anymore. Since twenty years ago, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences, such as genomics, recombinant gene technologies, applied immunology and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests. In short, biotechnology, just like Watson has said, has been growing rapidly, with new things discovered every...


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