Dialogue activities:


Working group

In 2007, our Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel set up a working group to consider issues raised by the emerging area of synthetic biology.

The group commissioned an independent review of social and ethical challenges associated with research into, and the application of, synthetic biology. The report of this review 'Synthetic biology: social and ethical challenges' was published in June 2008.


Dr B Johnson (Chair) - Independent
Dr L Archer - King’s College London
Professor D Burke CBE DL - Independent
Professor B Davis - University of Oxford
Dr A Elfick - The University of Edinburgh
Dr P Martin - The University of Nottingham

Steering group

In 2009, with endorsement of their Chief Executives, BBSRC and EPSRC set up a Steering Group to:

After a workshop held in March 2009, the group were able to draft the aim, objectives and guiding principles for the dialogue and these were developed into an invitation to tender.


Dr B Johnson (Chair) - Independent
Dr M Cannell - Defra
Professor R Jones - The University of Sheffield
Professor R Kitney - Imperial College London
S Lansdell - Sciencewise
Dr L Paterson - Royal Academy of Engineering
Professor J Petts - University of Birmingham
Dr T Wakeford - Newcastle University
Professor R Winston - Imperial College London
Professor D Woolfson - University of Bristol
Professor P Wright - The University of Sheffield



Oversight of the dialogue

BBSRC and EPSRC, with funding from Sciencewise Expert Resource Centre, commissioned the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) to conduct a public dialogue on synthetic biology. At the same time, Laura Grant Associates were commissioned to evaluate the project.

The Steering Group felt that a wider set of expertise would be beneficial to advise and steer the dialogue process itself so an Oversight Group was engaged whose members represented Government, NGO's, researchers and dialogue experts.


From four meetings which took place between September 2009 and April 2010.

Minutes from the Oversight Group (PDF 205KB)

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