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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


Two training workshops are being held on 2nd and 3rd March at the John Innes Centre, Norwich looking at Responsible Research and Innovation: Ethics, openness and outreach in Synthetic Biology, followed by media training from BBSRC. OpenPlant-funded applicants are prioritised but a small number of places may be available to other early career researchers at the University of Cambridge/JIC/TSL.

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is of key importance to the success and impact of synthetic biology, and its ability to achieve progress in the great challenges such as sustainability, food security, heath etc. We all bear some responsibility to consider the potential impacts of our work, positive and negative, to aim towards achieving future promises, and to address barriers to the future commercial success of plant synthetic biology in the UK such as social acceptance of genetic modification.


The definition of RRI is a point of discussion, but includes aspects such as ethics, public engagement, policy, governance, working practice etc. Jack Stilgoe described that “The broad aim of responsible innovation is to connect the practices of research and innovation in the present to the futures it promises and helps bring about” 


With this in mind, we have organised two training workshops on 2nd and 3rd March at the John Innes Centre, Norwich:

Responsible Research and Innovation: Ethics, openness and outreach in Synthetic Biology

Wednesday 2nd March, Chris Lamb Training Suite, John Innes Centre, Norwich

BBSRC Media Training

Thursday 3rd March, Chris Lamb Training Suite, John Innes Centre, Norwich

These workshops will help participants to put their research into context, considering ethics, open working practices, and methods for working with the public and media to successfully communicate science and reduce social barriers. Full details can be found in the attached document. 

Please contact Colette ( to book your place no later than 12th FebruaryFor the media course it is necessary that you fill in and return the attached application form as soon as possible. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and so cannot be guaranteed.


Some accommodation has been reserved for 2nd March at the Wensum Guest House in Norwich (£54 for single and £66 for double, bed and breakfast; Please let me know if you wish to book one of these rooms. The course itself is free, but you will need to cover travel and accommodation costs yourself.