The engineering of mammalian systems, bringing together research in synthetic biology, epigenetics and stem cells, opens up novel questions for social scientific research and provides a unique opportunity to further the development of the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Edinburgh has an internationally leading group of social scientists specialising in synthetic biology who have collaborated with SynthSys researchers since 2008.
Our work in the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology builds on the EPSRC’s AREA framework (Anticipate, Reflect, Engage and Act) for RRI to:
- Enhance understanding of the concept of RRI;
- Support its practical implementation in the engineering of mammalian systems;
- Develop case studies of excellent implementation of RRI for use in teaching and to support research in synthetic biology.
The Centre’s RRI work is made up of two strands:
New approaches to RRI informed by art and design (led by Jane Calvert)
Joyce Tait is working with the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council and its Governance Subgroup to develop an approach to RRI for the sector in the UK.