Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation

Philip Macnaghten, Richard Owen, Roland Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article we provide a short review of the debate on responsible innovation and its intersection with synthetic biology, focusing on initiatives we have witnessed and been involved with in the UK. First, we describe the ways in which responsibility in science has been reconfigured institutionally, from an internal focus on the provision of objective and reliable knowledge, to a more external view that embraces the ways in which it has an impact on society. Secondly, we introduce a framework for responsible innovation as a (partial) response to this shift, highlighting its constituent dimensions and the capacities and competencies that are needed to put it into practice. Thirdly, we chart the development of social science research on synthetic biology, addressing its evolution from an 'ethical, legal and social implications' (ELSI) frame to a responsible innovation frame. Fourthly, we review findings from UK social science research with the synthetic biology community setting out challenges for productive collaboration. And finally, we conclude with suggestions on the need for changes in institutional governance.
LanguageEnglish
Pages347-355
JournalEssays in Biochemistry
Volume60
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Synthetic Biology
Social sciences
Social Sciences
Innovation
Research

Cite this

Macnaghten, Philip ; Owen, Richard ; Jackson, Roland. / Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation. In: Essays in Biochemistry. 2016 ; Vol. 60, No. 4. pp. 347-355.
@article{7c8265ec018e4c6bacb89d86d29a5b3e,
title = "Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation",
abstract = "In this article we provide a short review of the debate on responsible innovation and its intersection with synthetic biology, focusing on initiatives we have witnessed and been involved with in the UK. First, we describe the ways in which responsibility in science has been reconfigured institutionally, from an internal focus on the provision of objective and reliable knowledge, to a more external view that embraces the ways in which it has an impact on society. Secondly, we introduce a framework for responsible innovation as a (partial) response to this shift, highlighting its constituent dimensions and the capacities and competencies that are needed to put it into practice. Thirdly, we chart the development of social science research on synthetic biology, addressing its evolution from an 'ethical, legal and social implications' (ELSI) frame to a responsible innovation frame. Fourthly, we review findings from UK social science research with the synthetic biology community setting out challenges for productive collaboration. And finally, we conclude with suggestions on the need for changes in institutional governance.",
author = "Philip Macnaghten and Richard Owen and Roland Jackson",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1042/EBC20160048",
language = "English",
volume = "60",
pages = "347--355",
journal = "Essays in Biochemistry",
issn = "0071-1365",
publisher = "Portland Press",
number = "4",

}

Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation. / Macnaghten, Philip; Owen, Richard; Jackson, Roland.

In: Essays in Biochemistry, Vol. 60, No. 4, 2016, p. 347-355.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation

AU - Macnaghten, Philip

AU - Owen, Richard

AU - Jackson, Roland

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - In this article we provide a short review of the debate on responsible innovation and its intersection with synthetic biology, focusing on initiatives we have witnessed and been involved with in the UK. First, we describe the ways in which responsibility in science has been reconfigured institutionally, from an internal focus on the provision of objective and reliable knowledge, to a more external view that embraces the ways in which it has an impact on society. Secondly, we introduce a framework for responsible innovation as a (partial) response to this shift, highlighting its constituent dimensions and the capacities and competencies that are needed to put it into practice. Thirdly, we chart the development of social science research on synthetic biology, addressing its evolution from an 'ethical, legal and social implications' (ELSI) frame to a responsible innovation frame. Fourthly, we review findings from UK social science research with the synthetic biology community setting out challenges for productive collaboration. And finally, we conclude with suggestions on the need for changes in institutional governance.

AB - In this article we provide a short review of the debate on responsible innovation and its intersection with synthetic biology, focusing on initiatives we have witnessed and been involved with in the UK. First, we describe the ways in which responsibility in science has been reconfigured institutionally, from an internal focus on the provision of objective and reliable knowledge, to a more external view that embraces the ways in which it has an impact on society. Secondly, we introduce a framework for responsible innovation as a (partial) response to this shift, highlighting its constituent dimensions and the capacities and competencies that are needed to put it into practice. Thirdly, we chart the development of social science research on synthetic biology, addressing its evolution from an 'ethical, legal and social implications' (ELSI) frame to a responsible innovation frame. Fourthly, we review findings from UK social science research with the synthetic biology community setting out challenges for productive collaboration. And finally, we conclude with suggestions on the need for changes in institutional governance.

U2 - 10.1042/EBC20160048

DO - 10.1042/EBC20160048

M3 - Article

VL - 60

SP - 347

EP - 355

JO - Essays in Biochemistry

T2 - Essays in Biochemistry

JF - Essays in Biochemistry

SN - 0071-1365

IS - 4

ER -