Team:Chalmers Gothenburg/Human Practices

Chalmers Gothenburg iGEM 2016


As the field of synthetic biology rapidly progresses, so does the awareness of its use. Human practices brings up aspects of the project that are of great importance when planning a project within this field. Topics such as ethics, society, outreach and preparing the next generation of researchers are considered when working with this part of an iGEM project.

In our project, the aim was to integrate human practices into the planning phase of the project as well as during its execution. We decided to focus on the ethical and sustainability parts of our biosynthesis project. Considering the effects a large scale implementation would have on the environment as well as human life was a major part of this effort.

We also decided to go further in the effort on predicting the future consequences that synthetic biology can have on our world. This was achieved by implementing speculative design into this part of the project. To help promote creative thinking we therefore wrote several short stories portraying future situations that describe how future life might be affected by synthetic biology. The stories are intentionally fictional to remove the constraints one otherwise commonly puts on one's creativity to come up with realistic outcomes. As history has proven, what might be considered realistic often falls short on what is possible when it comes to technological advancement. With the vast potential that the field of synthetic biology holds, we believe this is certainly the case once again