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Discussion Papers

The Public Understanding of Synthetic Biology (2015)

Considerations in the context of science-based advice to policy-makers and the public


(2015, 116 pages, 57 Tables, ISBN: 978-3-8047-3324-4)

Public opinion plays a vital role in society’s willingness to accept new research fields and technologies. This particularly applies to relatively new areas of research like synthetic biology. For the first time, the Institut für Demoskopie (IfD) Allensbach – Gesellschaft zum Studium der öffentlichen Meinung mbH (Allensbach Institute), and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina have joined forces to conduct a survey exploring both the level of knowledge and the attitude of the German public to synthetic biology in the context of their opinions on innovative technology.

The results of this survey are presented here, as are the initial considerations put forward by a group of Leopoldina experts on improving communication on this field of research and technology.


Elmar König

Head of Department Science – Policy – Society, Head of Berlin Office

Phone 030 203 8997 - 865
E-Mail elmar.koenig (at)leopoldina.org