We advanced our work in a variety of ways that integrated research, education, and stakeholder engagement. Some of the ways Bio.Polis supported activities addressing the changing role of biotechnology in society included:
- Strategic Policy Engagements: We built forums for discourse between stakeholders in government, academia, industry, and civil society on our shared biological futures.
- Leadership Programs: We designed fellowships, competitions, and other personal and professional growth opportunities for emerging leaders working at the intersection of biotechnology and society.
- Curricular Innovations: We developed educational experiences that promote exploration and learning at the intersection of biological engineering, design, security, ethics, and governance.
- Technology Policy Research: We conducted interdisciplinary research focused on how we organize, govern and value biological innovations
Strategic Policy Engagements
U.S. Senate Hearing on Securing U.S. Leadership in the Bioeconomy
Expert testimony examining the bioeconomy, the federal government’s role in the bioeconomy, the potential risks of life-science research, and the necessary policies and practices for the advancement of biotechnology.
Engaging with New Developments in U.S. Bioeconomy Policy
Stanford Bio.Polis has begun to develop resources that might help researchers, industry leaders, and advocates across civil society understand what these policies require and on what timescales, who is involved, and where there may be opportunities for targeted interventions in the policy process
International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition
An international innovation and education testbed engaging over 50,000 students from 60 countries in considering the societal context of their work over the past 15 years.
Designing a growing community and set of resources to enable the next generation of bioengineers to explore “how their work affects the world and their world affects their work”.
Scientific Complexity and Social Narratives
A seminar led by Michael Specter in which the students analyzed long form journalism from The New Yorker on topics such as the unseen difficulties in assessing our carbon footprint; the risks and benefits of deploying gene drive to alter the lives of entire species; the growing debate over Geoengineering, and the impact of pandemic influenza on the world.
Technology & Policy Research
An analysis of the politics of how emerging technologies are handled in regulatory structures, illustrated by a case study on gene drives.
Intended Consequences and Conservation Biotechnology
Contributions to a Special Issue of Conservation Science and Practice on risk in genetic interventions, and a critique of the ethos of restraint in conservation science.
Learning to Deal with Dual Use
A perspective on the need and challenge to learn to manage risks of misuse of knowledge, tools, and technologies in the life sciences as quickly as we learn to engineer life.