Why the Synthetic Cell Needs Democratic Governance

Michelle G.J.L. Habets*, Hub A.E. Zwart, Rinie van Est

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveyPopular

2 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering synthetic cells from the bottom up is expected to revolutionize biotechnology. How can synthetic cells support societal transitions necessary to tackle our current global challenges in a socially equitable and sustainable manner? To answer this question, we need to assess socioeconomic considerations and engage in early constructive public dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-541
Number of pages3
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper has benefited from conversations with members of the Future Panel on Synthetic Life, in particular Guido Ruivenkamp and Phil Macnaghten, and from the assistance of Bettina Graupe. This research is partly supported by the ‘BaSyC – Building a Synthetic Cell’ Gravitation grant ( 024.003.019 ) of the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science (OCW) and The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors


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