Expert Global Forum to Consider the "Evolving Promise of the Life Sciences"
Released: 09 November 2012
Changing perceptions of what the biotechnology revolution has delivered during the last 30 years, and the impact current perspectives might have on the future evolution of the life sciences, will be considered by leading life and social scientists when they gather in Paris on Monday 12 November.
The Evolving Promise of the Life Sciences Global Forum, organised jointly by the OECD and the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum (which is based at the University of Edinburgh), will consider if historic breakthroughs in life sciences – such as the cloning of Dolly the Sheep and the mapping of the human genome – have produced the economic and societal impacts originally anticipated. Focusing upon recently emerging sectors and developments within biotechnology, the Global Forum will then examine what can be learnt about the way expectations surrounding developing technologies shape the products and services these deliver to market.
The Global Forum will commence with a keynote address from the Chief Scientific Advisor to the President of the European Commission – Professor Anne Glover – on the current policy agenda and its influence on developments within the life sciences. The event will also feature sessions on key, current biotechnological developments spanning; health and biomedicine; industrial and synthetic biology; marine biotechnology; and the response to emerging pathogens.
Speaking as the Global Forum convened, the Director of the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, Professor Steve Yearley, said:
“There is no doubt that the life sciences potentially offer great economic, social and environmental benefits, perhaps representing a third global revolution following on from the industrial and information technology revolutions of previous centuries.
“But it is important to assess the kinds of expectations we have for biotechnologies and to understand that the regulatory, legal and institutional aspects of these new technologies are as critical as the scientific advances themselves.”
Also commenting on the significance of the Global Forum, the Chair of the OECD’s Working Party on Biotechnology, Professor Gerardo Jiménez-Sánchez, said:
“The OECD’s interest in biotechnology extends beyond the science itself. It also encompasses the potential socio-economic implications of this rapidly developing sector.
“The Global Forum is an opportunity for us to analyse and learn from historic developments in biotechnology. These lessons can then be applied when developing areas of the life sciences, maximising potential benefits in areas such as synthetic biology and averting or mitigating the negative socio-economic impacts of new pathogens.”
Chris Berry, Press and Communications Officer, The ESRC Genomics Forum
firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: ++44 (0)131 651 4746
Note to Editors:
- The Evolving Promise of the Life Sciences Global Forum will take place at the OECD Conference Centre, Paris, France on Monday 12 November 2012.
The full programme for the Global Forum is available at http://www.genomicsnetwork.ac.uk/esrcgenomicsnetwork/events/title,26310,en.html
- The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organisation that promotes policies to improve economic and social wellbeing. It provides a forum for governments to work together to learn from each other’s experiences, identify good practices and find solutions to common problems. It is also one of the world’s largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistical data. More information can be found at: http://www.oecd.org/
- The ESRC Genomics Forum has a commitment to promote social research on the contemporary life sciences around issues including designer babies, synthetic blood, DNA profiling, identity politics, personalised medicine, stem cell research and synthetic biology. Creative engagements form a valuable part of this work helping to reach new audiences. Based at the University of Edinburgh, the Forum runs a programme of national and international activities to draw natural and social scientists, policy makers, regulators, civil society and business into an ongoing dialogue about the relationship between genomics and society. The Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network.
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk.