Tag Archives: Synthetic Biology Project

Funding trends for US synthetic biology efforts

Less than 1% of total US federal funding for synthetic biology is dedicated to risk research according to a Sept. 16, 2015 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars news release on EurekAlert,

A new analysis by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center finds the Defense Department and its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) fund much of the U.S. government’s research in synthetic biology, with less than 1 percent of total federal funding going to risk research.

The report, U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology Research, finds that between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million dollars in synthetic biology research. In that time period, the Defense Department became a key funder of synthetic biology research. DARPA’s investments, for example, increased from near zero in 2010 to more than $100 million in 2014 – more than three times the amount spent by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Wilson Center news release can also be found here on the Center’s report publication page where it goes on to provide more detail and where you can download the report,

The report, U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology Research, finds that between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million dollars in synthetic biology research. In that time period, the Defense Department became a key funder of synthetic biology research. DARPA’s investments, for example, increased from near zero in 2010 to more than $100 million in 2014 – more than three times the amount spent by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“The increase in DARPA research spending comes as NSF is winding down its initial investment in the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, or SynBERC,” says Dr. Todd Kuiken, senior program associate with the project. “After the SynBERC funding ends next year, it is unclear if there will be a dedicated synthetic biology research program outside of the Pentagon. There is also little investment addressing potential risks and ethical issues, which can affect public acceptance and market growth as the field advances.”

The new study found that less than one percent of the total U.S. funding is focused on synthetic biology risk research and approximately one percent addresses ethical, legal, and social issues.

Internationally, research funding is increasing. Last year, research investments by the European Commission and research agencies in the United Kingdom exceeded non-defense spending in the United States, the report finds.

The research spending comes at a time of growing interest in synthetic biology, particularly surrounding the potential presented by new gene-editing techniques. Recent research by the industry group SynBioBeta indicated that, so far in 2015, synthetic biology companies raised half a billion dollars – more than the total investments in 2013 and 2014 combined.

In a separate Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Sept. 16, 2015 announcement about the report, an upcoming event notice was included,

Save the date: On Oct. 7, 2015, the Synthetic Biology Project will be releasing a new report on synthetic biology and federal regulations. More details will be forthcoming, but the report release will include a noon event [EST] at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

I haven’t been able to find any more information about this proposed report launch but you may want to check the Synthetic Biology Project website for details as they become available. ETA Oct. 1, 2015: The new report titled: Leveraging Synthetic Biology’s Promise and Managing Potential Risk: Are We Getting It Right? will be launched on Oct. 15, 2015 according to an Oct. 1, 2015 notice,

As more applications based on synthetic biology come to market, are the existing federal regulations adequate to address the risks posed by this emerging technology?

Please join us for the release of our new report, Leveraging Synthetic Biology’s Promise and Managing Potential Risk: Are We Getting It Right? Panelists will discuss how synthetic biology applications would be regulated by the U.S. Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, how this would affect the market pathway of these applications and whether the existing framework will protect human health and the environment.

A light lunch will be served.


Lynn Bergeson, report author; Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell

David Rejeski, Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program

Thursday,October 15th, 2015
12:00pm – 2:00pm

6th Floor Board Room


Wilson Center
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania, Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Phone: 202.691.4000


Nov. 19, 2013: Myths & Realities of the DIYbio Movement event at Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington, DC)

The Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is releasing a report tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013) titled: Myths & Realities of the DIYbio Movement. If you’re lucky enough to be in Washington, DC, you can attend the live event,

As the Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) community has grown, so have concerns among media and policymakers about these science enthusiasts’ ability to wield DNA and manipulate life. In the words of one Wall Street Journal headline, “In Attics and Closets, ‘Biohackers’ Discover their Inner Frankenstein.”

The realities of DIYbio, however, contradict the media myths. In its first-ever survey of DIYbio practitioners, the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars finds the community to be far different from these fearful and often sensationalist representations.

The report challenges seven widely held beliefs about DIYbio practitioners, particularly about their labs, capabilities and goals. The survey finds that the science they practice is far more benign than described in the popular press. In fact, the report suggests that the DIYbio community offers national education and entrepreneurship opportunities, rather than over-inflated risks. The report concludes with six policy recommendations based on the survey results.

What: Join us at the Wilson Center on Nov. 19 for the release of the survey results and analysis, followed by a panel discussion.

Copies of the report will be available at the event and online on Nov. 19 here: http://www.synbioproject.org/events/archive/6673/

You must register to attend the event. Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1gGZZLd [there will possibly be a webcast posted at a later date]

More information can be found here: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/myths-realities-the-diybio-movement

When: Nov. 19, 2013 from noon – 2:00 p.m. EST (Light lunch available at 11:30 am.)

Who: Daniel Grushkin, co-founder of Genspace and Wilson Center Fellow
Jason Bobe, co-founder of DIYbio.org
Todd Kuiken, Synthetic Biology Project

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
5th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C.

For directions, visit: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions

To learn more about the Synthetic Biology Project, visit: http://www.synbioproject.org/about/

According to the Center’s event webpage, there may be a webcast of the event available but it seems they won’t be livestreaming so you will have to wait until it’s posted.

I have mentioned Genspace here in a Sept. 21, 2012 posting titled: A tooth and art installation in Vancouver (Canada) and bodyhacking and DIY (do-it-yourself) culture in the US. Scroll down about 1/2 way to find the mention of Genspace (New York’s Community Biolab) and its activities. (At the time, I was focused on the bodyhacking aspect of DIYbio.)

Jason Bobe’s DIYbio.org is new to me. Here’s a little more about the organization from the homepage (Note: Links have been removed),

DIYbio.org was founded in 2008 with the mission of establishing a vibrant, productive and safe community of DIY biologists.  Central to our mission is the belief that biotechnology and greater public understanding about it has the potential to benefit everyone.

Join the global discussion
Find local groups, people and events near you
Read the diybio blog
Ask a biosafety expert your safety question
Subscribe to the quarterly postcard update
Browse the library of DIY lab hardware
Get the diybio logo and contact info

I checked out the organization’s Local Groups webpage and found three groups in Canada,,

DIYbio Toronto (this is the only city that has any current activity listed on its site)

Welcome to DIYbio Vancouver!

Biospace (Victoria, BC)

Synthetic biology project map

The Synthetic Biology Project (an initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) has updated an international map of synthetic biology research labs originally launched in 2009. From their Apr. 8, 2013 announcement,

Updated Map Tracks Global Growth of Synthetic Biology

As research into synthetic biology increases, this map identifies companies, universities, research institutions, laboratories and other centers across the globe that are active in this emerging field.

In 2009, the Synthetic Biology Project began mapping the increased research in the field of synthetic biology. Today, we are launching an updated version of this map, which can be found at http://www.synbioproject.org/library/inventories/map/.

The updated map can be used to examine the locations of companies, universities, research institutions, government and military laboratories and policy centers that are active in this emerging field. In addition to expanded listings, the updated map features improved functionality, more detailed information and additional categories and subcategories. The map can also be accessed on Android and Apple mobile devices.

This map is based on publicly available data from official websites, scientific literature, government reports and records, and newspaper and journal articles, but this field is dynamic, and the map is a work in progress. We welcome your input. A form to submit information can be found at http://www.synbioproject.org/sbmap/add-item/. Comments can also be sent to synbio@wilsoncenter.org.

Thank you for your submissions: All suggestions will be reviewed and incorporated into the map.

A detailed analysis of the current landscape will be released in the coming weeks. More information about the methodology and sources for the update can be found here. The data behind the map can be found here.

As it turns out, there are some Canadian cities listed on the map and upon checking I found addresses and localized maps. Until now, I had been unaware that my local British Columbia (Canada) Cancer Control Agency laboratories pursue research into synthetic biology.

An art to synthetic biology governance?

The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars will be hosting, courtesy of its Synthetic Biology Project (SynBio Project), an event on March 27, 2012 titled (from the March 21, 2012 event announcement),

The Art of Synthetic Biology Governance: Considering the Concepts of Scientific Uncertainty and Cross-Borderness

When: March 27, 2012 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Light lunch available at noon.)

Who: Dr. Claire Marris, [senior research fellow at] King’s College London [and one of the report’s authors]

David Rejeski, Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program, will moderate the session

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

5th Floor Conference Room
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C.

Sadly, it seems that there will not be a webcast, livestreamed or otherwise so the only option is to attend in person. If you can attend in person, here’s the registration link.

This event marks the release of a new working paper from the London School Economics (LSE), “BIOS working paper no. 4, The Transnational Governance of Synthetic Biology: Scientific uncertainty, cross-borderness and the ‘art’ of governance.” BTW, BIOS is the LSE’s Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society.

There’s more about the report here, as well as, a PDF of the report on the Synbio Project website. I’ve only read about 1/4 of the report and can only comment on their general approach which I find quite interesting. From the executive summary of the working report, The Transnational Governance of Synthetic Biology: Scientific uncertainty, cross-borderness and the ‘art’ of governance,

The paper goes beyond proposals to mitigate specific risks of synthetic biology to investigate the root causes of such concerns, and address the challenges at an overarching level.

…Effective governance seeks to foster good science, not to hamper it, but recognises that good science goes hand in hand with open, clear, transparent regulation to ensure both trust and accountability.

• Such an ‘art of governance’ seeks to facilitate effective interactions between the range of current and emerging social actors involved in or affected by scientific and technological developments, to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to express their perspectives and interests at all stages in the pathways of research and development, through transparent and democratic processes. The art of governance recognises that no decisions will suit all actors, but effective compromise depends on ensuring openness and transparency in the process by which decisions are reached, demonstrating genuine consideration of all perspectives.

We highlight three crucial challenges for the effective national and international governance of synthetic biology:

• FIRST, governance of science is not just a matter of governing the production and application of knowledge, but must also recognise that scientific uncertainty is not merely temporary but endemic: not merely calculable risks, but provisional unknowns, unknown unknowns, and even wilful ignorance or a conscious inability-to-know. Such ‘non-knowing’ cannot be overcome simply by acquiring more knowledge: increasing knowledge often leads to increasing uncertainty. [emphasis mine] Effective governance of synthetic biology must give explicit and attention to both knowledge and non-knowing.

• SECOND, synthetic biology relies on collaborative contributions from distinct disciplines and professions, and this requires accountability beyond that internal to each field. While good governance of synthetic biology demands proper accountability within scientific disciplines and professional bodies, it also requires the cultivation of external accountability, not only across and between such fields, but beyond, to all those who may be affected. Such networks of accountability accommodate change over time, facilitate mutual trust and responsiveness among various groups and constituencies, encourage good practice and robust science, and enhance openness and transparency. [emphasis mine]

• THIRD, the combination of scientific uncertainty and cross-borderness ensures that no single group, organization, constituency or regulatory body will have the capacity to oversee, let alone to control, the development of synthetic biology. An art of governance is required to accept the constitutive fragmentation of social authorities, and to work with such diversity, not as a hindrance, but as a condition of, and advantage for, effective governance. [emphasis mine]

In the light of these three challenges, we argue that scientifically informed, evidence-based approaches to policy-making, while essential, are insufficient. It is time to bring back a sense of the ‘art’ to the governance of biotechnology: an approach which employs proactive, open-ended regulatory styles able to work with uncertainty and change, to make links across borders, and to adapt to evolving relations among changing stakeholders, including researchers, research funders, industry, and multiple publics. (pp. 3-4)

I quite appreciate the descriptions of uncertainty and unknowingness as I’ve been coming to that conclusion for some time but they’ve said more elegantly than I can. As for the art of governance as a means of dealing with the cross-borderness (similar terms in academia include: transdisciplinary, crossdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary), as well as the uncertainty  inherent to synthetic biology (and the other emerging technologies) I like the proposed metaphor and scope of this approach to governance.  They may seem unattainable but it’s important to set one’s sights as high as possible in these types of efforts because inevitably the grand ideas will be chopped down to size in practice, in much the same way that one uses a large piece of marble to sculpt a statue which will have significantly less mass.

Governance/regulation of synthetic biology

The Synthetic Biology Project folks at the Woodrow Wilson Center have created a Synthetic Biology Scorecard and I think before discussing the scorecard I’ll provide a little background information about synthetic biology and what is being scored.

From the About page on the Synthetic Biology Project website,

Synthetic biology involves making new genetic code, also known as DNA, which does not already exist in nature.

In May 2010, J. Craig Venter announced that he had created the first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell (my May 21, 2010 post) and this set off some alarm bells. From the Feb. 8, 2012 news item on Physorg.com,

On May 20, 2010, scientists at the J.C. Venter Institute unveiled a bacterial cell controlled by a synthetic genome. That same day, the president asked the Commission [Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues] to undertake “a study of the implications of this scientific milestone . . . [and] consider the potential medical, environmental, security, and other benefits of this field of research, as well as any potential health, security, or other risks.”

Now we get to the scorecard (from the news item),

More than a year has passed since the release of the Commission’s report. What progress has been made? The Scorecard seeks to answer that question: In addition to tracking the progress of various federal and non-federal initiatives, the website encourages broad participation in achieving the goals set forth by the Commission and invites public comment on the recommendations and implementation efforts.

“The Commission’s report was a landmark document and lays out a framework with broad applicability to many emerging technologies, but, like many reports of this type, no mechanisms were put in place to track progress,” David Rejeski, director of the Synthetic Biology Project, said. “Our goal is ensure that this report — and others like it – can drive change.”

The scorecard is here. I’ve linked to the overview which lists all of the recommendations and each one is colour-coded to indicate whether or not there has been activity to implement the recommendation. There are three colour codes, one indicating that no federal activity has taken place, one indicating that federal activity has begun, and one indicating federal activity has been completed. You can click on each recommendation to get more details about federal and non-federal activity.

Socio-Technical Integration Research Workshop

The Synthetic Biology Project, a spin-off (of sorts) from the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies based in Washington, DC, is hosting a two-day workshop (Feb. 16 and 17, 2011) called Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR). It is the fourth in the series. From the event page,

The Socio-Technical Integration Research project is conducting a coordinated set of 20 laboratory engagement studies to assess and compare the varying pressures on, and capacities for, laboratories to integrate broader societal considerations into their work. These studies will be conducted by ten doctoral students and will be aimed at guiding research decisions toward responsible innovation.

Please join us on February 16th and 17th to discuss these vital issues with a distinguished gathering of laboratory directors, embedded social scientists and research councils from around the world.

Discussion topics will include:

• Experiences in synergistically enhancing the creativity and responsibility of scientific research, • Responsible innovation from the viewpoints of natural scientists, social scientists and research agencies, and • The establishment of an international network of scientists and research agencies working toward responsible innovation.

STIR seeks to establish an International Network for Responsible Innovation and is organized under the auspices of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University.

They ask anyone who plans to attend to RSVP or you can watch the webcast live (no need to RSVP the webcast).

I looked at the agenda for the event and unexpectedly found a Vancouver connection. One of the sessions is titled: Political Science and Genetics in Vancouver. It’s scheduled to be given by Shannon Conley and Courtney Hanna (PhD student in the Robinson Lab at the Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of British Columbia).

If you happen to take a look at the event agenda for yourself, you’ll also notice a fair sprinkling of nanotechnology-tinged presentations included in this workshop.

Syn Bio: survey of US public opinion report and webcast

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010 is the day that the Synthetic Biology Project (associated with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars) will be releasing a report on its 2010 survey of public opinion about synthetic biology in the wake of J. Craig Venter’s May 2010 announcement (my May 21, 2010 posting) about creating the first synthetic bacterial cell. You can attend a live event in Washington, DC. (RSVP please) or view the live webcast at 9:30 am PT.

From the Synthetic Biology Project website,

For the fifth year in a row, Peter D. Hart Research, in collaboration with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, conducted a representative national telephone survey to gauge public awareness of, and attitudes towards, emerging science and technologies.

Join us on Thursday, September 9, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. for the results from the latest poll.

Synbio (synthetic biology) hits the big time: Venter, media storm, and synbio collaboration webcast

Craig Venter’s and his team’s achievement is being touted widely right now. From the news item (Researchers create first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell) on Nanowerk,

The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. The synthetic cell is called Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 and is the proof of principle that genomes can be designed in the computer, chemically made in the laboratory and transplanted into a recipient cell to produce a new self-replicating cell controlled only by the synthetic genome.

This research will be published by Daniel Gibson et al in the May 20th edition of Science Express and will appear in an upcoming print issue of Science.

This has, of course, roused a discussion which is taking place in the blogosphere, in science journals, and elsewhere. Dave Bruggeman at his Pasco Phronesis blog offers a few thoughts about the achievement,

While many are hailing the replication as a significant breakthrough, others are not as impressed. For one thing, while it is described in some circles as synthetic life, the new life has a synthetic inside housed within a pre-existing bacterium shell. For another, there are related projects involving higher lifeforms that may deserve greater attention from a policy perspective.

His comments provide a bracing contrast to some of the hyperbole as per this news item (Life after the synthetic cell – opinions from eight leading synthetic-biology pundits) on Nanowerk,

In the Opinion section of Nature, eight leading synthetic-biology pundits reflect on what effect Craig Venter’s latest achievement could have on science and society.

All the commentators hail the work as highly significant — Arthur Caplan going so far as to describe it as “one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind”. Beyond that they have mixed feelings about what the Mycoplasma bacterium represents.

Coincidentally (or not), the Hudson Institute is hosting its third meeting about moral issues and synthetic biology. From this news item (Moral issues raised by synthetic biology subject of Hastings Center Project) on Nanowerk,

The Hastings Center has been at the forefront of interdisciplinary research into ethical issues in emerging technology. The synthetic biology project is funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation . Project participants include synthetic biologists, bioethicists, philosophers, and public policy experts. The Center’s work is part of a comprehensive look at synthetic biology by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Other participants in the initiative are the J. Craig Venter Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. [emphasis mine]

Intriguingly, the Woodrow Wilson Center hosts the Synthetic Biology Project (a spinoff from their Project on Emerging Technologies [PEN]).

Last week (May 12, 2010), the SynBio Project webcast (access here) an event titled, Synbio in Society: Toward New Forms of Collaboration? which featured,

One response to society’s concerns about synthetic biology has been to institutionalize the involve­ment of social scientists in the field. There have been a series of initiatives in which ethics and biosafety approaches have been purposely incorporated into synthetic biology research and development. [emphasis mine] The collaborative Human Practices model within the NSF-funded SynBERC project was the first initiative in which social scientists were explicitly integrated into a synthetic biology research program. But these new collaborations have also flourished in the UK where four research councils have funded seven scientific networks in synthetic biology that require consideration of ethical, legal and social issues. Another example is the US-UK Synthetic Aesthetics Project, which brings together synthetic biologists, social scientists, designers and artists to explore collaborations between synthetic biology and the creative professions.

Similarly, the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program funds a project called Synth-ethics, which “aims at discerning relevant ethical issues in close collaboration with the synthetic biology community.

I watched the webcast as it was being streamed live unaware that a big announcement would be made this week. The science community did not share my ignorance so this work has been discussed for months (Science is a peer-reviewed journal and peer review, even if expedited, is going to take more than a month).

I’m willing to bet that the webcast and the Hudson Institute meeting were timed to coincide with the announcement and that the journal Nature was given lots of time to solicit opinions from eight experts.

I have one more item of note. Science Channel will be presenting a special programme on Venter’s work,”Creating Synthetic Life, premiering Thursday, June 3, 2010, at 8PM e/p.” More from their press announcement,

Over the course of five years, only Science Channel cameras captured the failures, successes and breakthrough moments of Dr. Venter, Nobel Laureate Hamilton Smith, Dr. Clyde Hutchison and JCVI [J. Craig Venter Institute] researchers as they meticulously sought to create a synthetic single-celled organism.

What exactly does today’s news mean for the human race? Where exactly will it take us? Could the technology be used for negative purposes? What are the ethical concerns we must weigh before using it?… This one-hour special is an open forum discussion featuring Dr. Venter, leading bioethicists, top scientists and other members of the scientific community discussing the breakthrough’s ramifications and how it may change our world and the future.

Your Questions Answered allows viewers to ask the experts about how this technology will affect their lives. From now through May 26, submit your questions via Facebook, and they could be asked during the show.

Clearly, Science Channel took a calculated risk (see Venter’s bio page to understand why it was a calculated risk) when they started following Venter’s work.

In looking at all this, it’s fascinating to consider the combination of planning, calculated risk-taking, and luck that have come together to create this ‘synthetic biology moment’.

Of special interest to me, is the way that social scientists and ethicists and others have been integrated into the larger synthetic biology initiative. In my more cynical moments, I view this integration as a means of trying to allay concerns before a ‘stem cell’ or GM (genetically modified) food (aka Frankenfoods) controversy erupts. In less cynical moments, I like to think that lessons were learned and that the concerns will be heard and heeded.

UK government minister twitters about science; science festival in Canada, and open source synthetic biology

Last week, June 10, 2009. Nature’s Richard van Noorden posted a news piece about changes for the UK government’s science portfolio. (The article itself is behind a paywall but if you can access it, it’s here.)

Business department expands its remit as government department is scrapped.

It’s a little confusing as I’ve found some comments on Andrew Maynard’s 2020 Science blog which indicate that Lord Drayson, the UK Minister of Defence Procurement will now also have responsibility for science. I’m not sure how this all fits together but what it makes quite interesting to me is that Lord Drayson recently discussed issues about the merger with concerned individuals on Twitter. If you want to see some comments about and a transcript of the Twitter convo, go here to the I’m A Scientist, Get Me Out Of Here blog. (Thanks Andrew, for leading me to ‘I’m A Scientist’.)

I found it quite unexpected that the minister would engage directly with citizens and quite refreshing in comparison to our situation here in Canada where our Prime Minister and his ministers seem to insulate themselves from direct and unmediated (no communication flacks managing a ‘spontaneous’ event) contact with the people they are elected to represent.

The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (actually it’s a spinoff called, Synthetic Biology Project)  sent a notice about their Synthetic Biology event coming up on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, which I announced here a few weeks ago. From the invitation,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 12:30-1:30 PM (light lunch available at 12 noon) (NOTE: 9:30 – 10:30 am PT)

Arti K. Rai, Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law, Duke Law School
Mark Bünger, Director of Research, Lux Research
Pat Mooney, Executive Director, ETC Group
David Rejeski, Moderator, Director, Synthetic Biology Project


5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

If you’re planning to attend you can RSVP here or you can watch the webcast live or later at your leisure. I find it interesting that a representative from the ETC group will be there as they are fierce critics of many emerging technologies. I’m glad to see that as the organization provides valuable information inside their research papers although some of their communication can by hyperbolic.

I’m pretty sure the folks at the Perimeter Institute are not stealing ideas from this blog but following on last Friday’s (June 12, 2009) post where I mentioned a science festival in New York, they’ve announced a science festival, Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future. It will be held in October 15 – 25, 2009 for 10 days in an around Waterloo, Ontario and will commemorate the institute’s 10 anniversary.  You can get more details here on the festival website or you can see the media release here.