David Dickson graduated in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and worked for the British Society in Social Responsibility in Science before becoming a science journalist specializing in science policy and 'science and society' issues. He has previously worked as Washington correspondent for Nature (1978-82), European correspondent for Science (1982-1989) and editor of New Scientist (1990-92), and has been news editor of Nature since1993. In each of these positions he has written extensively about the social and political debates around genetic engineering and genomics, in particular focussing on issues relating to environmental safety and patenting. He is the author of Ă«Alternative Technology1(London, 1974) and 'The New Politics of Science' (New York, 1984).