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Quaker Studies

Abstract

I discuss some data on contemporary Quaker attitudes to science, particularly gene technology, gathered from member of Britain Yearly Meeting. Quakers are often perceived as having a relatively positive attitude towards innovation, including technology, and some confirmation of this can be found in Quaker history, until 30 years ago. The observations described in this paper suggest that, in line with the general trend in the west towards a greater skepticism about the benefits of science, the current attitude of British Friends towards the practice of science is a more ambivalent or even negative one, although attitudes towards the scientific/experimental method have remained positive. Some aspects of this, which may be specific to or more common among Quakers, are discussed.

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