Synthetic biology regulation and governance: Lessons from TAPIC for the United States, European Union, and Singapore

Benjamin D Trump
Health Policy 2017, 121 (11): 1139-1146
Synthetic biology is an emerging technology with potential benefits to various fields, yet also contains potential risks to human and environmental health. The field remains in an emerging state with limited quantitative guidance and a small but growing population of international researchers that conduct work within this field. Given the uncertain nature of this technology, an adaptive and anticipatory governance framework may be necessary to balance the potential benefits that may accrue from the technology's continued research alongside a desire to reduce or eliminate potential risks that may arise. However, such developments must account for the unique political and institutional factors that form a government's risk culture - something that can facilitate or impede the development of adaptive synthetic biology governance moving forward. The TAPIC framework helps illustrate those factors that are essential to develop good governance for emerging technologies like synthetic biology. Specifically, an application of TAPIC to synthetic biology governance indicates that the factors of accountability, participation, and integrity must be bolstered to improve technology governance in governments like with the United States, European Union, and Singapore.


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