Regulation of Synthetic Biology

BioBricks, Biopunks and Bioentrepreneurs

Elgar Studies in Law and Regulation

Alison McLennan, Assistant Professor, School of Law and Justice, Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra, Australia

This book explores the interplay between regulation and emerging technologies in the context of synthetic biology, a developing field that promises great benefits, and has already yielded fuels and medicines made with designer micro-organisms. For all its promise, however, it 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 structures or whether new mechanisms are needed.

‘The themes developed in this book make an important contribution not only to how regulation should respond to the challenges posed by synthetic biology without constraining its most transformative applications, but also to the challenges faced by future rapidly emerging technologies with the potential to have a profound impact on human existence, but with high-stakes uncertainties and risks.’
– Jacqueline Goodall, Law Institute Journal

‘This book provides a comprehensive, clear and up-to-date overview of the legal and regulatory issues raised by the field of synthetic biology, covering topics such as biosafety, biosecurity and intellectual property. It also develops an original critical analysis of the report on the ethics of synthetic biology by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, and puts forward novel arguments for the formation of a new Synthetic Biology Agency.’
– Jane Calvert, University of Edinburgh, UK

‘In Regulation of Synthetic Biology, Alison McLennan provides a thoroughly-researched, incisive, and engaging account of a vitally-important field at the bleeding-edge of biology. From synthetic biology's origins at the intersection of life sciences and engineering, to the safety and security alarm bells it has set off among citizens and governments, to creative institutional attempts at self-government, McLennan weaves together complexities of science, ethics, law, and regulation into a fascinating story of runaway innovation and society's attempts to govern it.’
– Andrew W. Torrance, University of Kansas and MIT Sloan School of Management, US

2018 424 pp Hardback 978 1 78536 943 8 £115.00 £103.50 $167.00 $150.30

Elgaronline 978 1 78536 944 5

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