Synthetic biology: Principles for oversight and strategies for action
Wednesday 27 July 2011, 10:30am - 11:50am


This session focused on a proposed statement of principles for regulating synthetic biology. It concluded with discussion of the need for public and constituency education and outreach.

Principles for regulating synthetic biology

The session fostered a detailed discussion of the statement of principles document being prepared by Friends of the Earth, International Center for Technology Assessment, ETC Group and others, and compared and contrasted this with other statements of principles and policies, including those prepared by the President's Commission on Bioethical Issues and the European Group on Ethics of Science and Technology. It offered an analysis of the sections, including rationale for the choices that were made.  Discussion explored the use of this and similar statements of principles as models for similar initiatives addressing other human biotechnologies. 

Strategy and outreach

The concluding portion focused on the use of a proposed statement of principles document to inform and educate the public, the press, and policy makers about the importance of the issue and what is to be done. Participants considered what these plans might entail and how others can participate, including via media outreach, articles, constituency meetings, campus work and more.