Reflections on Disruptive Innovation (BrisSynBioEthics – Long Read)

Disruptive innovation is an idea that contains within it a distinct attitude towards the sociotechnical world. It is a way to think about technology that corresponds with standards and expectations that direct technological society towards particular ends while simultaneously foregoing other ends. Disruptive innovation has captured the popular imagination of tech enthusiasts. Slogans like ‘disrupt…

What kind of biology is synthetic biology?

Massimiliano Simons (University of Leuven) reflects on his time chasing birds and biologists in the hilly wilds of Bristol and asks: what biology should we teach our kids? When I first arrived in mountainous Bristol from the Flemish flatlands I expected to be studying biologists, not climbing hills. Yet, for a significant part of the day I…

Nature and Value.

Is nature inherently valuable? Philosopher Alison Assiter argues yes.

Are there red herrings in nature?

Are references to the value of nature and naturalness red herrings in ethical and political debates surrounding emerging biotechnologies?


Welcome to the Ethics and RRI blog of BrisSynBio, a BBSRC / EPSRC funded Synthetic Biology Research Centre. BrisSynBio is a multi-disciplinary research centre based at the University of Bristol that focuses on biomolecular design and engineering aspects of synthetic biology. It has been established as one of six Synthetic Biology Research Centres in the…