Welcome to the Engineering Life Blog!

Jane Calvert

Welcome to the Engineering Life blog! We are a group of researchers from the social sciences and the humanities studying the field of synthetic biology. You can read about the aims and objectives of the project here. In this blog, the project team will share some of our experiences and observations as we delve into the world of synthetic biology. But first, why synthetic biology? What’s distinctive about it? This was a question raised in a discussion panel at a meeting on synthetic biology in Helsinki that I attended recently, and although the panel didn’t answer it like this, I think the answer lay in the organisation of the meeting itself. Half the day was scientific talks and the other half of the day was talks by ‘others’, including a sociologist of science (me!), a historian of technology, a biohacker and a bioartist. Although this is not standard for synthetic biology meetings (and owes a lot to the meeting’s organiser Merja Penttilä), it is not exceptional either. Making sense of this “enlarged conversation” and who gets to be part of it is one of the objectives of the Engineering Life project. More on this, and other topics, soon…

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