SYNENERGENE Newsletter 04

  Newsletter 04, May 2016 Click here to view this newsletter online  
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SYNENERGENE is a four-years mobilization and mutual learning action plan (MMLAP) supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. The project aims at initiating and fostering public dialogue on synthetic biology and mutual learning processes among a wide variety of stakeholders from science, industry, civil society, education, art and other fields.


Dear subscriber,

Nearing the end of 3 years of activities all over Europe and in the US the SYNENERGENE consortium invites you to participate in a two-day program on Friday and Saturday 24-25th June in the Amsterdam Science Centre NEMO. Several partners involved in SYNENERGENE will present and discuss the development of a synthetic biology agenda for the (near) future in workshops, public panel discussions, art-science exhibits and other forms of public involvement. You can download the latest version of the program (PDF file) here.

The first day is a conference with plenary and parallel sessions focusing on core issues and activities addressed by SYNENERGENE. During the second day SYNENERGENE partners will put “synthetic biology on stage” through debates, theatrical performances and a BIO.FICTION film festival.

Participation in this event is open to professionals and members of the public who are interested in Responsible Research & Innovaton in synthetic biology and is free of charge, but registration is required.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Amsterdam!



Making_Life was a project about art and synthetic biology organized by the Finnish Bioartsociety in Helsinki. It consisted of a series of three work periods which allowed a multidisciplinary group of practitioners to critically, and in an informed manner, engage with the socio-cultural, political and ethical complexities of synthetic biology. In May 2015 Erich Berger and Andy Gracie interviewed Markus Schmidt and Oron Catts to hear what a scientist and an artist have to say about synthetic biology.

Read the complete article (PDF)


Innovation Ecosystems in Genomics and Biology

What is the future of biotechnology? How can we create an ecosystem that integrates traditional and non-traditional actors and bolsters innovation? With the rise in do-it-yourself biology (DIY) and citizen science, how do we ensure that individuals are abiding by moral and ethical standards? Are the moral and ethical standards even tangible in such a complex, and multifaceted field? Eleonore Pauwels from the WWICS reports a two-day workshop on these topics.

Read the full article (PDF)

The social and ethical regulation of synthetic biology - The views of various stakeholders in Slovenia

Synthetic biology (synbio) is a very young and still unconsolidated new emerging technology. So far, neither an authoritative definition nor a wider social consensus exists on how to approach the social, ethical and legal aspects of this most promising of the new emerging technologies. In order to come to better insight in different dimensions of synthetic biology in Slovenia we, the partners from University of Ljubljana who participate in the SYNENERGENE project, did an extensive survey among representatives of different stakeholder groups in the first half of 2015.

Read the complete article (PDF)

Go4-Joint Final Conference –“Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe and across the World”

On 14-15 January 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hosted the joint final event of 4 European projects, all working with the concept of RRI. The conference aimed to highlight work undertaken by the EESC and the GO4 projects’ Consortiums and stimulate debate between representatives of the main stakeholder groups involved in research and innovation. Antonina Khodzhaeva reports.

Read the complete article (PDF)

Upcoming events (May - October 2016)

Browse 16 events in May-October 2016. Anything missing? Please send an email to our webeditor and he'll upload it to the SYNENERGENE website.

Read the complete list of events (PDF)



TAB, the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag, has published an English summary of its report no. 164 on 'Synthetic biology – The next phase of biotechnology and genetic engineering'. The report analyses the safety and security issues of synthetic biology as well as the involvement of societal stakeholders and the general public, the role of DIY biologists and future issues and fields of action. The summary is available in our 'resources' section, together with further information about the contents of the report.

The Working Group on Ethics in Research and Medicine of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, recently publishes an Opinion on Synthetic Biology. The group rejects claims that synthetic biologists are in fact capable of creating artificial life. In addition, it is not outright opposed to attempts at playing God, attributing humans the right and inherent responsibilities to act as God’s associates. The main part of the opinion discusses potential benefits and risks of synthetic biology and calls for a responsible and precautionary approach to its sustainable development for the common good. They welcome open dialogue engaging scientists, public authorities and society.



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