Defining a Discipline: Two Important Volumes on Synthetic Biology
Synthetic Biology: Metaphors, Worldviews, Ethics, and Laws. Joachim Boldt (Ed) 2016 (Springer VS: Wiesbaden) ISBN 978–3–658-10,987-5. 234 pp.
Synthetic Biology: The Technoscience and its Societal Consequences. Markus Schmidt, Alexander Kelle, Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Huib de Vriend (Eds.) 2010 (Springer: London and New York) ISBN 978–90–481-2678-1. 186 pp.
Since the elucidation of Watson and Crick’s DNA double-helix model between 1951 and 1953, research in the biological sciences have charted several methodological and technological pathways and each of these routes claim to have distinct subdisciplinary identities and ethical concerns. While the twentieth century can be viewed as a convenient starting point for this occurrence, it is possible to trace well the history of every subdiscipline in current-day biological sciences into the nineteenth century and indeed, all the way to antiquity. It is also possible to ponder how the ethical concerns arising in specific socio-cultural contexts...