Ambivalences of Creating Life

Societal and Philosophical Dimensions of Synthetic Biology

  • Kristin Hagen
  • Margret Engelhard
  • Georg Toepfer

Part of the Ethics of Science and Technology Assessment book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 45)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Kristin Hagen, Margret Engelhard, Georg Toepfer
    Pages 1-8
  3. Carlos G. Acevedo-Rocha
    Pages 9-53
  4. Cyprien N. Verseux, Ivan G. Paulino-Lima, Mickael Baqué, Daniela Billi, Lynn J. Rothschild
    Pages 73-100
  5. Mirko Ancillotti, Stefan Eriksson
    Pages 141-156
  6. Leona Litterst
    Pages 243-250

About this book


"Synthetic biology" is the label of a new technoscientific field with many different facets and agendas. One common aim is to "create life", primarily by using engineering principles to design and modify biological systems for human use. In a wider context, the topic has become one of the big cases in the legitimization processes associated with the political agenda to solve global problems with the aid of (bio-)technological innovation. Conceptual-level and meta-level analyses are needed: we should sort out conceptual ambiguities to agree on what we talk about, and we need to spell out agendas to see the disagreements clearly.

The book is based on the interdisciplinary summer school "Analyzing the societal dimensions of synthetic biology", which took place in Berlin in September 2014.

The contributions address controversial discussions around the philosophical examination, public perception, moral evaluation and governance of synthetic biology.


Epistemology Ethics Genetic Engineering Ethics Synthetic Biology Ethics, Science and Technology Studies Ethics, Technology Assessment Synthetic Biology

Editors and affiliations

  • Kristin Hagen
    • 1
  • Margret Engelhard
    • 2
  • Georg Toepfer
    • 3
  1. 1.EA European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment GmbHBad Neuenahr-AhrweilerGermany
  2. 2.EA European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment GmbHBad Neuenahr-AhrweilerGermany
  3. 3.Center for Literary and Cultural Research BerlinBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-21087-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-21088-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1860-4803
  • Series Online ISSN 1860-4811
  • Buy this book on publisher's site