Quo Vadis, Bioeconomy? the Necessity of Normative Considerations in the Transition

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 35 (1):1-7 (2021)
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Abstract

This collection of papers builds on the idea that the bioeconomy provides a framework for potentially effective solutions addressing the grand global challenges by a turn towards an increased use of biological resources, towards renewability and circularity. Consequently, it cannot be perceived as an end in itself. Thus, innovative endeavors within this bioeconomy framework require a serious examination of their normative premises and implications. From different perspectives, the five contributions to the collection demonstrate that for a bioeconomy that is to contribute to the transformation towards sustainability, inquiries into norms, values, and paradigms of innovators and other stakeholders are indispensable. Originating in the spirit of an interdisciplinary workshop on the "The Normative Dimension of Transformations towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy", the collection at hand provides an attempt to facilitate an increased commitment of social sciences into bioeconomy discourses. We learn: the bioeconomy is on the rise as it is, but whether it will guide us the way towards an equitable, environmentally sound, and future-proof economy, heavily depends on the normative guardrails imposed by science, society, and business. Recent discussions have shown that the pressing problems and complex challenges humanity is currently facing cannot be adequately tackled by approaches that

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Vincent Blok
Wageningen University and Research

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