Scientists’ and the Public’s Views of Synthetic Biology

Title: Scientists’ and the Public’s Views of Synthetic Biology
Format: Chapter
Publication Date: 2020
Published In: Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance
Description:

This chapter examines similarities and differences between scientists’ and nonscientists’ views of synthetic biology and the factors that shape them, as well as limitations of available research and the need for more focus on the views of both groups. We combine data from a survey of researchers in synthetic biology and a nationally representative survey of US adults on synthetic biology to compare the characteristics of respondents in each group and how those general characteristics could shape each group’s views. Our analyses found substantial religious and ideological differences between experts and members of the public in the US. We also found that levels of religious guidance and political ideology relate to different perceptions of synthetic biology and in different ways depending on one’s experience as either a researcher in the field or as a member of the public. We call for more, and more detailed, social science research to facilitate effective public engagement that creates space for the variety of views and concerns that will shape synthetic biology and its governance.

Ivan Allen College Contributors:
External Contributors: Emily L. Howell, Dietram A. Scheufele, Dominique Brossard, Michael A. Xenos
Citation:

Emily L. Howell, Dietram A. Scheufele, Dominique Brossard, Michael A. Xenos, Seokbeom Kwon, Jan Youtie, and Philip Shapira. Scientists’ and the Public’s Views of Synthetic Biology. In: Trump, B., Cummings, C., Kuzma, J., and Linkov, I. (eds). Synthetic Biology 2020: Frontiers in Risk Analysis and Governance. Springer Nature, Cham, Switzerland. 2020, pp. 371-387. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-27264-7_16

Categories:
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
Related Departments:
  • School of Public Policy