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1 February 2013 Public Understanding of Synthetic Biology
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Abstract

The objective of this article is not to draw exhaustive conclusions about public perceptions of synthetic biology but to provide readers with an integrated review of the findings from 4 years of quantitative and qualitative research conducted on this subject in the United States. US public perceptions toward synthetic biology are ambivalent. Members of the public show enthusiasm for synthetic biology applications when those applications are developed to address societal, medical, and sustainability needs, whereas engineering biology is seen as a potential concern if this research is done without investigations of its potential risks and long-term implications. Members of the public also support funding for research that leads to applications that actually meet social and sustainability goals. When it comes to oversight, their priorities are to promote transparency and accountability and to ensure a form of tailored governance in which diverse knowledge sources help address the uncertainty surrounding new technologies.

© 2013 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. Alf rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
Eleonore Pauwels "Public Understanding of Synthetic Biology," BioScience 63(2), (1 February 2013). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2013.63.2.4
Published: 1 February 2013
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