Dr. Emma Frow suggests that discussions of synthetic biology, both amongst scientists and between scientists and society, need to be reframed in a different context. Conversations need to focus on current, rather than future, experiments and anticipate realistic results rather than speculate about outcomes that are only likely in science fiction. Scientists need to listen to and address questions from the public rather than assume they know how they will react to a new technology such as synthetic biology. And finally, synthetic biology would benefit from governance by the many involved parties rather than regulations imposed by a few perceived experts.
Emma Frow is an assistant professor at Arizona State University in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering and the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes. She received her PhD in biochemistry and cell signaling at Cambridge University and her MSc in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Her current work… Continue Reading