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EMBO Report on Emerging Biotechnologies: Hype, Hope and Hard Reality Conference

 

 

16 April 2016 – Biotechnology, the development of applied technologies using biological processes and organisms, was the topic of discussion at the 16th EMBO|EMBL Science and Society Conference on Emerging Biotechnologies. The recently-published conference report captures the optimism of the participants, who presented research describing revolutionary therapies for disease and new methods for sustaining the environment. However, as suggested by the conference sub-title, “Hype, Hope and Hard Reality”, the ability to manipulate organisms at the genetic level also demands serious consideration of the potential impacts on society and the natural world. This meeting of experts in biotechnology research, economics, philosophy and governance, including the conference organisers from EMBO’s Science Policy Programme, discussed the potential benefits of emerging technologies alongside their potential risks. They also acknowledged the challenges in communicating the issues to wider audiences.

 

Download the conference report (pdf).