Admission Price: Free to attend, Please sign up
Speaker: Olivia Hamlyn, Phd candidate,UCL
Synthetic biology is a complex emerging technology. As with many new technologies, it promises revolutionary, life-enhancing benefits. But like many new technologies, those promises are accompanied by the spectre of significant, potentially negative, impacts; social, economic and ethical as well as environmental and health-related. While the EU commits in principle to considering the social, economic and ethical in its regulatory decision-making, it typically fails in practice, emphasising instead risks to health and the environment. Using the EU’s regulation of synthetic biology as a case study and taking public participation as one medium through which concerns over the social, economic and ethical may find their way into decision-making, I explore the difference between the EU’s policy and practice.
While, in its techniques, synthetic biology is similar to traditional genetic modification, in its open and inclusive ethos it is very different. Much of the regime regulating genetic modification applies to synthetic biology. I assess how far this regime is able to reflect and promote this open and inclusive ethos, focusing in particular on the opportunities it provides for public participation in decision-making. Drawing on ideas of “inherited regulation”, I argue that the application of a regime designed for another technology, to synthetic biology makes capturing the nuances of the latter technology problematic, with implications for considering a wider range of concerns, beyond safety, in decision-making.
Convocation Suite, Centenary Building, City University London.
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When and where
1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 4th November 2015