Biotechnology has been the centre of public controversy for some time, both in Denmark and internationally. The issues have proliferated in recent years, ranging from the development of genetically engineered micro organisms, plants and livestock, over advances in reproductive technologies and research on embryos and stem cells, to gene therapy, the cloning of humans and genetically enhanced normality. Each scientific and technological development has brought, it seems, its own controversies. This is a thesis about some of them. It has been motivated by my curiosity about biotechnology and genetic research as themes in and of public debate, a curiosity which has been piqued by the intensity of interest in these issues, the many conflicts to which they give rise and, finally, the resolutions that are proposed. Is there something special about this theme that has kept it on the agenda for the past several decades? What are the core issues and how do we hope to address them?