This paper explores the potential social, ethical and regulatory issues surrounding the emergence of Synthetic Biology. It argues that the claimed novelty of Synthetic Biology suggests discontinuity from previous research and frames the debates about its prospects, social implications and governance challenges in ways far removed from the immediate reality that current researchers in the field engage with. Debates about ethical and regulatory issues are often framed around highly abstract conceptions of anticipated technical advances, and ignore the social and institutional contexts shaping both how research and its application are conducted and peoples’ attitudes towards science and technology. This highlights the contribution of social scientists, as well as natural scientists, in better understanding the specificity of research trajectories and their interfaces with society in order to establish a regulatory system that can foster a balanced development.
|Translated title of the contribution||2009 High technology development report / Chinese academy of sciences: Synthetic Biology and its social, ethical and regulatory implications|
|Title of host publication||北京:科学出版社|
|Subtitle of host publication||中国科学院|
|Publisher||Beijing Science and Technology Publishing House|
|Publication status||Published - 19 May 2009|