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Symbolic communication in public protest over genetic modification: visual rhetoric, symbolic excess and social mores

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Science Communication
Issue number4
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)502-527
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article considers the protests through which a group of New Zealand women—MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment)—enacted a campaign against genetic modification in food. Referring to the predominant visual/symbolic makeup of its efforts to communicate an alternative perspective on the research involved, the article examines the theatrics, posters, and disruptive protest of MAdGE’s campaign. A major feature of the analysis concerns a billboard that provoked outrage in some quarters and led to official deliberations concerning the advertising code of practice in which public morality and the epistemic authority of science were intertwined.