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Research breakthroughs and social impact - Young scientists debate synthetic biology

Feb 16
12:30 - 16:00
Amphipôle, University of Lausanne
Biofiction@Lausanne Logo
Biofiction@Lausanne Logo
Biofiction@Lausanne Logo

Emerging technologies have the potential to offer new solutions for society's challenges but also raise concerns about safety and ethical implications. At this round-table, young scientists from different fields discussed together with the audience the possible impact of synthetic biology, a maturing scientific discipline aiming to modify, rebuild and design biological systems.

Synthetic biology is a maturing technology with the potential to transform many aspects of human economy and society and the environment. Possible applications include production of biofuels in algae, synthesis of therapeutics in yeast cells or removal of polluants from the environment using bacteria.
But synthetic biology also raises concerns regarding safety and security as well as questions regarding associated values and worldviews, governance and responsibility. At this two-hour round table, young researchers from different scientific backgrounds explored these questions together with the audience.

Please find a link to a summary of the discussion below (first link).

The round table was preceded by the event BIO•FICTION@Lausanne that featured a selection of short films from the International Synthetic Biology Festival.

The event was part of the LS2 Annual Meeting.


12.30 BIO•FICTION@Lausanne - Movie session with a selection of synthetic biology short films
14:00 Patrick Matthias, president Forum for Genetic Research - Welcome

14:05 Jan Roelof van der Meer, University of Lausanne - Studying life from the bottom-up: the new approaches of synthetic biology

14:25 iGEM team 2015, EPF Lausanne - Bio LOGIC: intracellular computing using dCas9

14:40 Round table discussion with Arnaud Gelb, Ari Sarfatis, Axel Uran, Vincent Jacquot (all EPFL), Tanja Jenkins (University of Lausanne), Priya Satalkar (University of Basel), Luca Chiapperino (University of Lausanne), Aksha Arasu (reatch) and Sara Tocchetti (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, Paris)

15:30 Open discussion

16:00 End

Moderated by Pia Viviani, Science & Cité

This event was presented by the Forum for Genetic Research of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) in association with the BIO•FICTION Science, Art & Film Festival and Life Sciences Switzerland (LS2).

Video: Youth debate on synthetic biology 2016

RTS1 CQFD (mai 26 2016) Retour sur la biologie de synthèse



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