Project news

May 20, 2009

Synthetic Biology in High Places

Project Scholar Presents Before the European Group on Ethics

WASHINGTON – On May 19, Eleonore Pauwels, a public policy scholar with the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, presented recent research findings on public perceptions of synthetic biology before the European Group on Ethics (EGE).

As part of its 2009 activities, the EGE, an advisory board to the European Commission (EC), has been asked by EC President José Manuel Barroso to produce an opinion on the ethics of synthetic biology. This opinion will contribute to the current and future strategies of the EC related to this scientific area. As part of this process, the EGE has invited relevant stakeholders to public roundtables to discuss the topics under study.

“For synthetic biology to deliver on its promise, the scientific community cannot leave public engagement to chance or assume the press will accurately represent the science and related implications,” said Pauwels. “How the public learns about synthetic biology, from whom, and with what message could have far reaching impacts on consumer confidence and market development.”

Presentation materials can be accessed here.

About Synthetic Biology

According to the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, synthetic biology aims to design and engineer biologically based parts, novel devices and systems as well as redesigning existing, natural biological systems.