How synthetic cells may contribute to a fair and sustainable future – the Future Panel on Synthetic Life gives its first recommendations

At the European Synthetic Cell Initiative, we want to translate knowledge about synthetic cells into technological applications in a responsible way for a more sustainable world. We are therefore pleased to highlight the position paper recently published by the Future Panel on Synthetic Life. This position paper can be seen as a starting point for a broader societal debate.

Illustration: Rathenau Instituut
Illustration: Rathenau Instituut

The Futur Panel was set up by Radboud University and the Rathenau Instituut (the Netherlands) as part of BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell), a Dutch research program that aims to build a synthetic cell from scratch. The objective of the Future Panel was to create a first agenda for a future political, academic, and public debate on the synthetic cell.

The paper summarizes more than two years of conversation about the key challenges, dilemmas, and possible societal impacts of synthetic cell research and offers some recommendations for fostering socially responsible synthetic cell development. Suggested recommendations include organizing civil society participation in synthetic cell research and fostering a socially responsive academic ecosystem.

Link to access the paper: Society and synthetic cells | Position paper by the Future Panel on Synthetic Life

For more information about the position paper as well as the latest Dutch initiatives on the same topic, visit the BaSyC website.