SYNENERGENE Forum 2016: Synthetic Biology – visions of the future



Amsterdam Science Centre NEMO


The SYNENERGENE Forum is a large public event which will discuss the promises and implications of synthetic biology from a societal perspective.

Synthetic biology
From the beginning of this century synthetic biology has emerged as a new engineering science of life. It uses the rapidly increasing possibilities for both “reading” and “writing” DNA to design and synthesize living cells and biological systems with functions that do not exist in nature. Synthetic biology offers new options for innovation in the fields of health care and sustainable production of energy and materials, but may also more and more become a subject of public controversy about potential risks and commercial exploitation of natural resources.

Responsible research and innovation
In order to deal with the governance challenges resulting from this tension, we need to establish conditions for responsible research and innovation (RRI) in the field. As a European mobilization and mutual learning action plan, involving nearly thirty parties from all over Europe, SYNENERGENE contributes to this aim.

During the two-day Forum event we want to share our RRI experiences and achievements with relevant stakeholders and publics, including scientists, civil society organizations, industry and policy makers, and discuss the development of a synthetic biology agenda for the (near) future. Addressing the synthetic biology agenda implies a focus on:

  • Opportunities of synthetic biology relating to societal challenges
  • Concerns about synthetic biology relating to possible negative implications
  • Engagement with synthetic biology as a contribution to responsible research and innovation

Registration and program
The SYNENERGENE Forum offers a two-day program on Friday and Saturday 24-25th June in the Amsterdam Science Centre NEMO (

The first day is a conference with plenary and parallel sessions focusing on core issues and activities addressed by SYNENERGENE. During the second day SYNENERGENE partners will put “synthetic biology on stage” through debates, theatrical performances and a BIO.FICTION film festival.