Last week, I was invited to speak on a panel about synthetic biology and sustainability at the External Advisory Board Meeting of the NSF-funded Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) at The University of Maryland.

SESYNC brings together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision making to find solutions to complex environmental problems.

I opened the panel discussion with a description of synthetic biology, followed by examples of how synthetic biology can be used to address complex environmental issues (embedded below). Other panel members included esteemed entomologists Fred Gould and David O’Brachta, and Jennifer Kuzma, an expert in risk governance. Dr. Gould and Dr. O’Brachta talked about gene drives, and Dr. Kuzma presented the results of her ongoing research involving risk governance and risk perception in synthetic biology.