Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology

Responsible Research and Innovation

Responsible Research and Innovation runs through all the work carried out at our Centre. Key to this is the idea that conversations across disciplines – including those between the natural and social sciences – can help all those involved think in new, more anticipatory, reflective, inclusive and responsive ways about their work.

Our work in the area of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) draws on the EPSRC’s AREA framework (Anticipate, Reflect, Engage and Act). We analyse the development of RRI, and also experiment with the concept by pushing it in new directions. Social scientists from STIS and Innogen have worked closely with scientists and engineers in SynthSys for several years, exploring the social, political, economic, philosophical and historical dimensions of synthetic biology.


Past projects include:


Current projects include:


Synthetic Aesthetics

Open Innovation in Emerging Life Science



Engineering Life

Engaging with Uncertainty and Risk in Agricultural Biotechnology Regulation: Delivering Safety and Innovation



Joyce Tait is working with the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council and its Governance Subgroup to develop an approach to RRI for the sector in the UK.