"With panoramic coverage and accessible style, one cannot help but recommend this volume to students, lecturers and researchers. It will prove an indispensable textbook and source of reference. From science to ethics, medicine to agriculture, and disability to cloning, Alison Pilnick provides a highly readable and truly informative account of the impact of modern genetics on contemporary social life." - Lindsay Prior, Reader in Sociology, Cardiff University, and Director of the Health and Risk Programme at the University of Wales College of Medicine What impact do advances in genetic science have on the relationships between humans and the world in which they live? How does social context affect the development and implementation of genetic research? How can the social sciences be used to develop a critical perspective on advances in genetics? This is a book about contemporary developments in the scientific understanding of genetics, and the ways in which these are transforming possible relations between humans and the world around them. It is the first book of its kind, aiming to encourage readers to critically examine social issues that relate to genetic science and practice, and to consider the links between social theory and the research and practice of genetic science. The focus is mainly, though not exclusively, on human genetics, exploring those developments which are seen as most significant in terms of public perceptions, social impact, or public policy. It covers a wide range of current and potential applications of genetic science and is clearly and accessibly written, assuming no prior biological knowledge on the part of the reader. Instead, genetic knowledge is placed in its social context.