Future Organisms

Synthetic genomics and responsible innovation in the UK, the USA and Japan

The aim of the Future Organisms project is two-fold: to carry out a social scientific investigation into synthetic genomics, and to develop new approaches to responsible research and innovation through this investigation.

Synthetic genomics is an emerging scientific field that makes it possible for scientists to design and build larger stretches of DNA than ever before, at the scale of chromosomes and even whole genomes. It could potentially bring new types of organism into the world. 

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is an approach to governing new scientific and technological fields that has gained traction in recent years. 

The future organisms project aims to open up discussion and debate about synthetic genomics by working with scientists, engineers, policy makers, artists, designers and other stakeholders, and by convening a series of experimental workshops.

Our work on synthetic genomics crosses three countries (the UK, the USA and Japan) and is divided into three strands:




The Future Organisms project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Science Foundation