Systems and Synthetic Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 1-6

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A primer to ‘bio-objects’: new challenges at the interface of science, technology and society

  • Peter DabrockAffiliated with Email author 
  • , Matthias BraunAffiliated with
  • , Jens RiedAffiliated with
  • , Uwe SonnewaldAffiliated with


Biotechnological and life science innovations do not only lead to immense progress in diverse fields of natural science and technical research and thereby drive economic development, they also fundamentally affect the relationship between nature, technology and society. Taken this seriously, the ethical and societal assessment of emerging biotechnologies as for example synthetic biology is challenged not only to constrain on questions of biosafety and biosecurity but also to face the societal questions within the different fields as an interface problem of science and society. In order to map this vague and stirring field, we propose the concept of bio-objects to explore the reciprocal interaction at the interface of science and society serious as well to have the opportunity to detect possible junctions of societal discontent and unease before their appearance.


Synthetic biology Ethics Bio-objetcs Societal questions Moratorium