Synthetic biology — the artificial design and engineering of biological systems and living organisms — offers the potential to address a wide array of public health, ecological, and humanitarian challenges. It also raises important questions related to bioethics, environmental impacts and safety. The Keystone Policy Center is leading discussions with leaders from academia, industry, civil society, and government sectors on this emerging issue.
Keystone recently partnered with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars convened a one-day, multidisciplinary Leadership Summit on Synthetic Biology Stakeholder and Community Engagement for Public Health, Conservation, and Food and Agriculture to discuss priorities for broadening conversations on the potential risks and benefits of synthetic biology. The summit, held in Washington, D.C., brought together more than two dozen key leaders to share experiences, lessons learned, and priorities for engagement. Keystone also contributed to a series of events on genetic technologies for species conservation hosted by Revive and Restore at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.