Synthetic Biology Debate Opens the Lab up for Discussion at Fort Mason, in San Francisco

We attended the Synthetic Biology Debate put on by The Long Now Foundation, and walked out scratching our heads... (in a good way). Drew Endy and Jim Thomas debated pros and cons of open source bio-engineering, and the social implications that it brings. Honestly, a lot of what they were saying went right over my head... however, it made me think about heavy topics that I hadn't even considered before: --- As the world learns more about manufacturing biology, is it most responsible to contain knowledge to a small few restricted research teams, risking corporate control (or worse); or is it better to make the entire field open source, forego patents, and risk hostile world-powers gaining advantages!? --- How do we protect the existing world economy while encouraging advancements in bio-technology? --- How do we distinguish important bio-advances like malaria cures or insulin advances, from potential disasters? --- And furthermore, what needs to be done about updating our outdated patent system to encourage future advancements? While there was no official winner or loser, just starting the conversation was an important step to the future of the field. And judging by the massive turnout this Monday, it clearly is a pressing topic! --- NOTE: If you would like to be notified of future independent lifestyle events like this, make sure you sign up for our Twitter feed!!

About the Author

kc! Bradshaw is the Creative Director for LEGENDmag, a founder of CircleSavvy and works as a freelance graphic designer for Exkclamation. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer textures of life; rides his classic motorcycle; and absolutely loves music. Stalk him on Twitter.