Despite the multidisciplinary dimension of the kinds of research conducted under the umbrella of synthetic biology, the US-based founders of this new research area adopted a disciplinary profile to shape its institutional identity. In so doing they took inspiration from two already established fields with very different disciplinary patterns. The analogy with synthetic chemistry suggested by the term ‘synthetic biology’ is not the only model. Information technology is clearly another source of inspiration. The purpose of the paper, with its focus on the US context, is to emphasize the diversity of views and agendas coexisting under the disciplinary label synthetic biology, as the two models analysed are only presented as two extreme postures in the community. The paper discusses the question: in which directions the two models shape this emerging field? Do they chart two divergent futures for synthetic biology?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.007
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,645
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Two Sides of the Same Coin? The Epistemic Cultures of Systems and Synthetic Biology.Karen Kastenhofer - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):130-140.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The End and Rebirth of Nature? From Politics of Nature to Synthetic Biology.Massimiliano Simons - 2016 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 47:109-124.
This is the Synthetic Biology That Is. [REVIEW]Daniel Liu - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:89-93.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Synthetic Biology: A Challenge to Mechanical Explanations in Biology?Michel Morange - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):543-553.
Editors' Introduction to Special Issue.Ute Deichmann, Michel Morange & Anthony S. Travis - 2012 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):470-472.
Synthetic Biology and Synthetic Knowledge.Christophe Malaterre - 2013 - Biological Theory (8):346–356.
Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge.T. Douglas & J. Savulescu - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.


Added to PP index

Total views
20 ( #494,325 of 2,349,084 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #330,822 of 2,349,084 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes