Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Dimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Ilan Oshri and Krsto Pandza
Chapter 10: Communicating synthetic biology: a conceptual framework to position developments in biotechnology
Communication has proven to be important in managing processes of innovation related to firm behaviour, industrial network development, public understanding and interdisciplinary research. As a result, the quality of communication is likely to influence the social and economic impact of emerging technologies. Synthetic biology is an emerging field being advocated as a facilitator of future biotechnology development. Although synthetic biology has become familiar to a growing audience over the past decade, its meaning has been debated for over a century. In the past 100 years, synthetic biology emerged within both conceptual and practice-orientated discussions, by describing in various degrees to what extent biological systems could be exploited. In 1912, both Stéphane Leduc (1912) and Jacques Loeb (1912) mentioned synthetic biology in speculations over possibilities to create artificial living systems. Later on, in 1974, Waclaw Szybalski mentioned synthetic biology to describe the application of recombinant DNA technology to generate organisms with new genetic properties (Benner, 2010).
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