Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance

  • Benjamin D. Trump
  • Christopher L. Cummings
  • Jennifer Kuzma
  • Igor Linkov

Part of the Risk, Systems and Decisions book series (RSD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Benjamin D. Trump, Christopher L. Cummings, S. E. Galaitsi, Jennifer Kuzma, Igor Linkov
    Pages 1-18
  3. Christopher M. Warner, Sarah R. Carter, Richard F. Lance, Fiona H. Crocker, Heather N. Meeks, Bryn L. Adams et al.
    Pages 19-50
  4. Vladimir Murashov, John Howard, Paul Schulte
    Pages 165-182
  5. Benjamin D. Trump, George Siharulidze, Christopher L. Cummings
    Pages 297-312
  6. Christina Ndoh, Christopher L. Cummings, Jennifer Kuzma
    Pages 351-370
  7. Emily L. Howell, Dietram A. Scheufele, Dominique Brossard, Michael A. Xenos, Seokbeom Kwon, Jan Youtie et al.
    Pages 371-387
  8. Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco
    Pages 389-397
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 409-421

About this book


Synthetic biology offers powerful remedies for some of the world’s most intractable problems, but these solutions are clouded by uncertainty and risk that few strategies are available to address. The incentives for continued development of this emerging technology are prodigious and obvious, and the public deserves assurances that all potential downsides are duly considered and minimized accordingly. Incorporating social science analysis within the innovation process may impose constraints, but its simultaneous support in making the end products more acceptable to society at large should be considered a worthy trade-off.

Contributing authors in this volume represent diverse perspectives related to synthetic biology’s social sciences, and reflect on different areas of risk analysis and governance that have developed for the field.  Such perspectives include leading scholarly discussion pertaining to risk assessment, governance, ethics, and communication. The chapters of this volume note that while the first twenty years of synthetic biology development have focused strongly on technological innovation and product development, the next twenty should emphasize the synergy between developers, policymakers, and publics to generate the most beneficial, well governed, and transparent technologies and products possible.

Many chapters in this volume provide new data and approaches that demonstrate the feasibility for multi-stakeholder efforts involving policymakers, regulators, industrial developers, workers, experts, and societal representatives to share responsibilities in the production of effective and acceptable governance in the face of uncertain risk probabilities. A full consideration of such perspectives may prevent a world of draconian regulations based on an insufficient or incomplete understanding of the science that underpins synthetic biology, as well as any hesitancy or fear by the public to adopt its eventual products.


Synthetic Biology Technology governance Risk Governance Biotechnology Genetic Engineering

Editors and affiliations

  • Benjamin D. Trump
    • 1
  • Christopher L. Cummings
    • 2
  • Jennifer Kuzma
    • 3
  • Igor Linkov
    • 4
  1. 1.US Army Engineer Research and Development CenterVicksburgUSA
  2. 2.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.US Army Engineer Research and Development CenterVicksburgUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-27263-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-27264-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2626-6717
  • Series Online ISSN 2626-6725
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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