The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is launching a new initiative to study societal issues associated with synthetic biology with three grants totaling more than $1.6 million to The Hastings Center, the J. Craig Venter Institute, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
At the Hastings Center, Foundation funding will allow for in-depth investigation into ethical issues that may arise in connection with developments in synthetic biology. The project aims to make serious contributions to scholarly literature, produce a base for further scholarship, and inform public policymaking.
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funding will allow the J. Craig Venter Institute to examine potential societal concerns associated with developments in synthetic genomics. The project will both inform the scientific community about these issues while also educating the policy and journalistic communities about the science. As a result, scientists, journalists and policymakers will be able to engage in informed discussions.
A grant to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars will analyze evolving public perceptions of potential societal risks that may arise related to research in and applications of synthetic biology, clarify whether our existing regulatory systems can address relevant risks that may be associated with the science, and inform and educate policymakers.
Sloan Synthetic Biology website