Recap: Ethics of New Biotechnologies (TU Delft 2018 Summer School)

The IDEA League summer school on the Ethics of New Biotechnologies, organized by Zoë Robaey and Lotte Asveld of the section Biotechnology and Society at the Department of Biotechnology, welcomed 23 students from all over the world. During the week, they attended lectures on ethics and moral issues of new biotechnologies from top scholars in the field. From understanding the moral importance of dealing with risks, to philosophical foundations of tinkering with life, the course explored dilemmas in industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, human enhancement and agriculture and the responsibility of engineers.

Throughout the week, students were invited to make visual compositions to represent a dilemma with biotechnology. In order to assist them in doing so, they participated in a visual communication workshop, attended the Bio-Fiction film festival, and finally created their own storyline to present a dilemma and create debate around an innovation in biotechnology.

In order to make the most of being in Delft and the importance of the city in biotechnology innovation, the summer school kicked off at the Delft botanical gardens which are known for displaying varieties of plants useful to humans. The Bio-Fiction film festival took place in the center of the city at the Prinsenkwartier in collaboration with TopDelft, organizations dedicated to discussing the role of new technologies in society. Last but not least, the lectures took place at the new Applied Science building where the Biotechnology Department is located.

Find the aftermovie of the Summer School here on our IDEA League Vimeo!

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