Project news

May 23, 2011

New LSE BIOS Report Addresses Synbio Challenges

Working paper proposes "art of governance" to address governance challenges.

A new working paper from the London School of Economics and Political Science's BIOS summarizes and appraises current thinking and proposals for the governance of synthetic biology. Using the existing synthetic biology literature as a resource, the report outlines the main sources of governance challenges exhibited by synthetic biology. The authors find that most current concerns originate from two key features of synthetic biology: scientific uncertainty and cross-borderness. After discussing three key challenges to governance--"the salience of both knowing and non-knowing; the need for external accountability; and the fragmentation fo social authorities"--the authors propose an "art of governance" to address challenges.

BIOS is an international center for research and policy on social aspects of the life sciences and biomedicine. Their ethos is one of empirically grounded and conceptually sophisticated research, conducted in close relation with life scientists, clinicians and policy makers. Their work addresses issues of justice, power and inequality, of geopolitics and of social and individual identity.

The BIOS Working Papers series is a showcase for the work of the researchers and research students in BIOS.

The BIOS working paper no. 4, The Transnational Governance of Synthetic Biology: Scientific uncertainty, cross-borderness and the ‘art’ of governance can be downloaded here.