How to make mermaids, or The future of biotechnology

February 11th this year twelve researchers were invited to present our research at a public meeting on the future of biotechnology, at the Students Society in Trondheim. I was one of them, among researchers from biotechnology, medicine, psychology, biology and applied ethics. Our presentation argued for the importance of reflecting on the different roles scientific images have; as tools and part of evidence in research, as eye catchers and sciene imaginaries in the media, and as visuals inspiring aesthetical as well as ethical debates in the arts.

More than 500 hundred students came to the event to hear about and engage in the new possibilities and challenges of biotechnology. As part of the event, the audience was invited to vote over a set of ethical challenges, using red and green paper sheets for yes or no. The event was organised by the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board, in collaboration with the students assosciations Volvox and Alkymisten; and Tekna Biotek. The presentations were filmed and you can see the recordings here (in Norwegian).

Biotek 11feb2014_havfrue
The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board is an independent body consisting of 21 members appointed by the Norwegian government. Each member has a background and/or education which makes him/her competent to discuss questions regarding modern biotechnology. Eight members of the board represent different public organisations. The main tasks of the Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board is to evaluate the social and ethical consequences of modern biotechnology and to discuss usage which promotes sustainable development.The Norwegian Biotechnology Advisory Board has approximately ten regular board meetings and organises two to three public conferences annually.

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