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Ethical and regulatory issues raised by synthetic biology (SYNTH-ETHICS)

Ethical and regulatory issues raised by synthetic biology (SYNTH-ETHICS)
Project team:

Grunwald, Armin (Project leader); Christopher Coenen (project coordination); Hans-Jürgen Link; Leonhard Hennen; Simon-Philipp Pfersdorf; Harald König


European Commission

Start date:


End date:


Project partners:

Delft University of Technology (coordination), TNO (The Netherlands), University of Padua (UNIPD) and Australian National University (ANU)

Research group:

Innovation processes and impacts of technology

Project description

The project SYNTH-ETHICS began in March 2009 and is funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme. It is concerned with ethical, legal and social implications of so-called "synthetic biology", an emerging field of research and development. The project is coordinated by the Delft University of Technology. Further project partners for ITAS are the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the University of Padua (UNIPD) and the Australian National University (ANU).

ITAS's role in the project particularly focuses on the analysis of ethical challenges posed by synthetic biology, examination of public discourse on the topic at an international level, and options for political action. A further emphasis of work will be to involve non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in the project activities in order to promote social discourse on synthetic biology in Europe. The overall objectives of the project are to record and analyse normative and regulatory challenges posed by the development of synthetic biology and to elaborate recommendations for action for various actors.

The website for the whole project is http://synthethics.eu.

This project is part of the activities of ITAS in the field of SynBio.



Dipl.-Pol. Christopher Coenen
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Tel.: +49 721 608-24559