Synthetic Biology and Public Perceptions: Communication and Engagement

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room 204 (Hynes Convention Center)
What is life? Can and should scientists and engineers construct new forms of life? Synthetic biology technologies may raise unique questions about inherent benefits and risks that are just beginning to be addressed. As this multidisciplinary field rapidly advances, policy-makers and thought leaders will be called upon to make decisions and provide guidance to a public grappling with potential implications. Recognizing that public concern about science and technology often relates to political, ethical, or religious factors, this symposium brings together a panel representing the science, policy, and religious communities to discuss developments such as microbial production of biodiesel fuel, the synthesis of polymers capable of Darwinian evolution, and "do-it-yourself" biology. Speakers will consider the questions and concerns raised by these developments and share their experiences and strategies for communicating about synthetic biology with their respective public audiences.
Peyton West, AAAS Center for Science, Policy, and Society Programs
Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS Office of Public Programs
Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS Office of Public Programs
George Church, Harvard Medical School
Synthetic Biology: New Findings and Implications
Eléonore Pauwels, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Synthetic Biology: Political and Policy Challenges
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