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…

Deliberating Synthetic Biology…help wanted!

Serious reflection on Research and Responsible Innovation (RRI) is, let’s face it, a pretty tricky thing for scientific researchers to engage in. As I write this I’m also attending a conference on public engagement (PE) as part of RRI within the context of Horizon2020 – even that is a bit of a mouthful and a…

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…