Session 3: Homo Societatis

Synthetic Biology is emerging as a promising field mobilizing big expectations and remarkable investments. Its purpose is the fabrication of made-to-measure biological systems which might enable a successful combination of economic growth and sustainability. But SynBio does not only open up promising opportunities, it also involves uncertainties and risks. In order to deal with them, not only legal, safety and security issues are being addressed, but also the ethical dimensions of the very attempt of engineering life. As an element for the governance of the new field, the ethical discussion mainly focuses on how ‘bioengineering’ might affect our understanding of life. Nevertheless, the ethical implications of SynBio do not only concern its possible impacts, but are also rooted in the very assumptions of the project of ‘bioengineering’. Therefore the need to set the ethical discussion in a wider framework: what is the implicit understanding of the connections between research, innovation, society and life in the SynBio agenda?

Inst. of Philosophy - Center for Human and Social Sciences - CSIC, Spain
Jordi Maiso is Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy in the Center for Human and Social Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He got his PhD in philosophy at the University of Salamanca (Spain) and he has been a postdoc Research Grant holder at the Free University of Berlin (DAAD) and the Center for the Research of Anti-Semitism (Technical University of Berlin). His research focuses mainly in social philosophy, critical social theory, and ethical and political issues of synthetic biology.

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Session 3: Homo Societatis


Bio·Fiction 2014

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