Our 2021 synthetic biology update (PDF) is here! It’s happening right now. Many scientists, technology-enthusiasts, and corporations hope to create novel life forms. They seek to move from evolution through natural selection into a moment of ever more human-designed life.
Combining life sciences, computer science, and engineering, a field sometimes called “synthetic biology” is developing. It uses a suite of powerful techniques with names like “CRISPR.”
As with other new technologies, there’s a lot of hype, many promises, and many perils. Governments have failed to keep pace. The public doesn’t provide input into the far-reaching decisions companies make. There’s limited regulation.
Canadian Friends Service Committee is the peace and social justice agency of Quakers in Canada. Grounded in our values of peace, integrity, equality, simplicity, and respect for all creation, we are led to pay attention to synthetic biology.
We are particularly interested in the social, ethical, and spiritual implications—both beneficial and harmful—which go well beyond the technology itself. See an overview of our hopes and worries at https://quakerservice.ca/SBIssues
Once a year since 2014 we’ve provided simple informational updates about some of the applications of synthetic biology that are making headlines. These updates are aimed at a general audience with no science background.
In our 2021 update you’ll find:
Find out more about synthetic biology.