Synthetic biology as a field of dual-use bioethical concern

Alexander Kelle

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Over the past decade synthetic biology has emerged as one of the most dynamic sub-fields of the post-genomic life sciences. This chapter first outline the scope of synthetic biology as a new subfield in the life sciences in which different science and engineering disciplines converge. This is followed by a brief discussion of synthetic biology’s potential for malign misuse as well as some of the proposals for governance of this new technoscience. Thus far, the mostly technical character of these proposals has resulted in a rather limited appreciation of the wider governance issues related to the full breadth of approaches usually subsumed under the synthetic biology label. The final section will discuss both academic and institutional contributions to a bio-ethically informed discourse on the misuse potential of synthetic biology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn the Dual Uses of Science and Ethics
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples, Practices and Prospects
EditorsBrian Rappert, Michael Selgelid
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
PublisherAustralian National University Press
ISBN (Print)9781925021332
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


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