This book explores the interplay between regulation and emerging technologies in the context of synthetic biology, a developing field that promises great benefits, but also poses various risks. Investigating the distinctiveness of synthetic biology and the regulatory issues that arise, Alison McLennan questions whether synthetic biology can be regulated within existing regulatory structures or whether new mechanisms are needed.
Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, McLennan draws on diverse areas of law as well as the science of synthetic biology and history and sociology of science. She concludes that synthetic biology presents regulatory challenges relating to environmental risk, biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property. These challenges arise from the uniqueness of the science, its novel communities, and the uncertainty surrounding possible hazards. By understanding these challenges, this book aims to lay the groundwork for enhanced regulation that protects us from synthetic biology’s risks, whilst capturing its potential to improve our world.
Regulation of Synthetic Biology will be essential reading for academics and students in the social sciences and law, as well as for scientists working in synthetic biology, and policymakers in innovation, science and the regulation of these fields.