This page provides an overview of the recommendations being tracked by our project. The colors represent the overall activity related to each recommendation: “no federal activity”, “federal activity,” or “fulfilled.” As additional steps are taken by the federal agencies and new non-federal projects are launched, the recommendations will be tagged as “updated.” Navigation to the main clusters of recommendations can be done through the index on the left margin or by clicking on a specific recommendation. Each entry includes the text of the recommendation from the Commission, as well as a list of federal and non-federal activities addressing the recommendation.
The clock symbol indicates that the recommendation should be completed by June 2012 and the results made public.
- Research No Federal ActivityRecommendation 1: Public Funding Review and Disclosure
Undertake a coordinated evaluation of current public funding for synthetic biology activities, including funding for research on techniques for risk assessment and risk reduction, and for the study of ethical and social issues raised by synthetic biology.
- Research Federal ActivityRecommendation 2: Support for Promising Research
Evaluate research proposals through peer-review mechanisms and other deliberative processes created to ensure that the most promising scientific research is conducted on behalf of the public. Updated 7/16/12
- Coordination Federal ActivityRecommendation 3: Innovation Through Sharing
Determine whether current research licensing and sharing practices are sufficient to ensure that basic research results involving synthetic biology are available to promote innovation, and, if not, whether additional policies or best practices are needed.
- Coordination Federal ActivityRecommendation 4: Coordinated Approach to Synthetic Biology
Develop a clear, defined, and coordinated approach to synthetic biology research and development across the U.S. government. Updated 7/16/12
- Risk Assessment Federal ActivityRecommendation 5: Risk Assessment Review and Field Release Gap Analysis
Identify any gaps in current risk assessment practices related to field release of synthetic organisms. Identify any differences in methods or strategies between agencies regarding risk assessments.
- Risk Assessment Federal ActivityRecommendation 6: Monitoring, Containment, and Control
Review of the ability of synthetic organisms to multiply in the natural environment and identify, as needed, reliable containment and control mechanisms. Updated 7/16/12
- Risk Assessment No Federal ActivityRecommendation 7: Risk Assessment Prior to Field Release
Reasonable risk assessments should be carried out prior to field release of research organisms or commercial products involving synthetic biology technology. This assessment should include, as appropriate, plans for staging introduction or release from contained…
- Coordination Federal ActivityRecommendation 8: International Coordination and Dialogue
Ensure ongoing dialogue about emerging technologies continues and expand efforts to collaborate with international governments, the World Health Organization, and other appropriate parties, including international bioethics organizations. Updated 7/16/12
- Education Federal ActivityRecommendation 9: Ethics Education
Explore appropriate and meaningful training requirements and models in ethics education similar or superior to the training required today in the medical and clinical research communities.
- Ethics No Federal ActivityRecommendation 10: Ongoing Evaluation of Objections
Develop an iterative, deliberate process for consideration of moral objections to synthetic biology, particularly if fundamental changes occur in the capabilities of this science and its applications. Reassess concerns regarding the implications of synthetic biology…
- Oversight Federal ActivityRecommendation 11: Fostering Responsibility and Accountability
Evaluate, and re-evaluate periodically, the effectiveness of current research oversight mechanisms and determine what, if any, additional steps should be taken to foster accountability at the institutional level without unduly limiting intellectual freedom.
- Risk Assessment Federal ActivityRecommendation 12: Periodic Assessment of Security and Safety Risks
Assess specific security and safety risks of synthetic biology research activities in both institutional and non-institutional settings including, but not limited to, the “do-it-yourself” community.
- Oversight Federal ActivityRecommendation 13: Mandatory Oversight Controls
Make compliance with certain oversight or reporting measures mandatory for all researchers, including those in both institutional and non-institutional settings, regardless of funding sources. Also consider revising the Department of Commerce’s export controls.
- Ethics Federal ActivityRecommendation 14: Scientific, Religious, and Civic Engagement
Maintain an ongoing exchange regarding the views of religious, civil society, and other groups on synthetic biology and related emerging technologies, sharing their perspectives with the public and with policymakers. Scientists and policy makers in turn should… Updated 11/29/12
- Education Federal ActivityRecommendation 16: Public Education
Identify and widely disseminate strategies to promote overall scientific and ethical literacy, particularly as related to synthetic biology, among all age groups.
- Oversight Federal ActivityRecommendation 17: Risks in Research
Identify mechanisms that ensure that the risks of research in synthetic biology, including for human subjects and other affected parties, are not unfairly or unnecessarily distributed. Updated 11/29/12
- Oversight No Federal ActivityRecommendation 18: Risks and Benefits in Commercial Production and Distribution
Evaluate current statutory mandates or regulatory requirements for distribution of risks and benefits and consider developing guidance materials and voluntary recommendations to assist manufacturers as appropriate. Updated 11/29/12
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