Two years ago the Rathenau Instituut and Radboud University, as part of the BaSyC research programme, set up a Future Panel on ‘Synthetic Life’ to explore the social challenges, dilemmas and possible societal impacts of synthetic cell research. After several online and offline meetings they published this 83 pages thick position paper with 4 important recommendations. These recommendations can be seen as a starting point for further discussion.
On the website of the Rathenau Instituut it’s possible to download the position paper: https://rathenau.nl/en/democratic-information-society/society-and-synthetic-cells
A few BaSyC PI’s joined the Future Panel and thus could contribute to this position paper as well. (Illustration: Rathenau Instituut)
A complete list of authors of the paper: Noelle Aarts, Roel Bovenberg, Marileen Dogterom, Rinie van Est, Joost Gerritsen, Philip Macnaghten, Bert Poolman, Zoë Robaey, Steen Rasmussen, Guido Ruivenkamp, Esther Thole, Georg Tremmel, Cécile van der Vlugt and Hub Zwart.
Hub, Rinie, Noelle and Bert are part of the editing team as well.
Of course we also thank the project teams from the Rathenau Instituut and the Radboud University who made things possible: Kyra Delsing, Michelle Habets, Rinie van Est, Bettina Graupe and Hub Zwart.
On the 12th of May the position paper was officially presented by the Future Panel during a public meeting with a broad range of stakeholders. This meeting was the first step in kick-starting the academic, public and political debate on the synthetic cell. A few BaSyC PI’s and researchers accepted the invitation by the Future Panel to take part in the meeting and help start the discussion.
The fourth new episode in the ‘Herschept’ podcast series by Mies Loogman and the Rathenau Instituut is now online!
If you are interested in listening to the podcast series (highly recommended) you can find all four episodes here https://app.springcast.fm/podcast/herschept
The podcast itself is in Dutch but you can find the episodes with English subtitles on YouTube: