Social Science and Synthetic Biology: Maximising Impact
Dr. Aditi Mankad, Senior Research Scientist/Team Leader, CSIRO Land & Water, Australia (link, @dr_deets)
The next 5 to 10 years will see a burgeoning of synthetic biology (synbio) research, destined for applications across diverse domains such as healthcare, environmental protection, agriculture, and various platforms within industrial biotechnology. Fundamentally, synbio technologies challenge personal and social normative beliefs about the acceptability of humans modifying biological systems. This talk will provide an overview of Australia’s investment into synbio via the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP) and how the social science application domain plays an important and integrative role in the future development of synbio technology in Australia. The Synbio FSP must consider a breadth of issues at individual, community and institutional levels, in order to facilitate the development and implementation of synbio technologies that will be well accepted, in order to yield maximum positive impacts for society and the natural environment.
Dr Mankad is trained in psychological science and has core expertise in psychological/behavioural issues around motivation, risk perception and behaviour change. Dr Mankad is a Team Leader within CSIRO Land & Water where she leads a team of social and economic scientists focused on Agricultural Innovation & Biosecurity. She also leads the ‘Maximising Impact’ Application Domain within the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, examining social, ethical, legal, institutional and regulatory research in synthetic biology.