The Art and Science of Synthetic Biology: Critical and Creative Perspectives on 'New Life'

WHEN : 22nd Nov, 9:00am – 4:30pm
WHERE : University of Queensland,Molecular Biosciences Building, Room 228

This symposium has two aims. The first is philosophical and historical: to examine the impact of synthetic biology on existing concepts of the biological through consideration of the historical emergence and philosophical implications. The second is to consider how artistic production and cultural expressions informed by work in the biosciences are able to feed back into debates in the biosciences themselves, or to cast new light on the way knowledge in these fields is developed and circulated. Our purpose is to bring these different perspectives to bear on two central questions: whether synthetic biology and the development of technologically-mediated life represent the emergence of a new kind of biology, in which the line between the artificial and organic has become increasingly uncertain; and, secondly, whether the invocation of these questions in both the biosciences and humanities represent the emergence of new forms of knowledge, in which the clear delineation of disciplinary boundaries has become increasingly irrelevant.