No. 281: Synthetic Biology: Challenges and Debates
New developments within biotechnology and genetic engineering.We may not see the results until 15-20 years from now
Synthetic biology involves promising solutions to a number of mankind's major problems. This incipient technology, however, is still in its embryonic stages and much remains uncertain. We will not be able to tell whether these visions have become reality until 15-20 years from now.
Lack of interdisciplinary cooperation
Denmark is in good position to play a prominent role in this area. Danish companies and researchers are in the vanguard of synthetic biology, and Denmark offers a scientific environment promoting joint public and private research. All we need now, says Danish biotech scientist Birger Lindberg Møller "is for Danish researchers to begin to collaborate across institutions."
A democratic debate on synthetic biology
If the predictions put forward by researchers and scientists come true, synthetic biology will clearly alter our organization of society and change the conditions of our lives. Consequently, we need a democratic debate where politicians and ordinary citizens alike take a position on synthetic biology – and hence on the direction in which they want society to develop, says risk communication consultant Thomas Breck.
This newsletter is based on a project entitled ”Synthetic biology – uses, risk assessment and ethical aspects" and will be published June 10th 2011 along with the final project report available at the websites of The Danish Board of Technology and The Danish Council of Ethics.
Last update: 30-06-2011