On November 17 the RVC office held the scientific workshop "Breakthrough technology as a factor of changing social and legislative landscape" The keynote report was delivered by Philip Shapira , the Professor at the University of Manchester and Georgia Institute of Technology. The report dealt with the case of global and Russian experience in exploiting technologies, causing a public outcry. Subsequently, the expert panel discussed the possibility of overcoming social, legal and ethical barriers in the course of introducing advanced technologies. A report on technological ethics for prospective NTI markets was made by Alexei Gusev, head of RVC innovation infrastructure monitoring service . The workshop was conducted by Yevgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy CEO, Chief of Project Management Office
In his report Philip Shapira focused on synthetic biology — the science, which is based on the achievements of genetic engineering , and, which in its own way, represents the next stage of its development : The synthetic biology develops "genetic constructors ' and associated biological systems with pre-set properties . How to convince society to understand and adopt this technological challenge? How to react correctly when people will expectedly start to grow suspicious of new technology How to calculate the risks and figure out who should become the agent in implementing these changes and how technological innovations must be regulated? And most importantly, how to allow for the influence of global challenges (economic, social and environmental) in the strategy of promoting technological novelties? There are a lot of critical and controversial questions.
The speaker suggested that the possible solution is contained in the way Synbiochem, the research center on synthetic biology at the University of Manchester, is organized. The activities of the center are guided by the concept of RRI (responsible research and innovations), which implies a responsibility in the course of research and technology utilization, large-scale public involvement , cooperation with business and science and business orientation to global social challenges.
The report by Alexei Gusev raised the question of how the ethical barriers influence on implementing the roadmap of new technologies During the discussion, the host of the workshop Yevgeny Kuznetsov suggested that today's challenge is to shape a positive adequate image in society and thus to overcome ethical barriers which are often caused by uneducated opinion. Ignorance is a great tool for lobbyists of all levels, because all the "closing technologies" will certainly rebuild the market, breaking someone's business. Eventually, small barriers transform into large formidable obstacles.
Questions of technical ethics have engendered a heated discussion among the invited experts and culminated in a number of theses. Obviously, it is impossible to completely avoid barriers in the course of promoting new technologies, because technological policy is supposed to be open to public and these barriers are caused by the publicity. It is impossible not to consider the ethical barriers . The experts concluded that it is inefficient to create a reaction system for managing negative sentiments which can emerge in society. What we need is a preventive system for identifying, typifying and preventing possible risks. 2B this of Entrepreneurial Activity necessary things that must be riot только potential ethic but and social and market risks. The experts point out to the need of involving in the process some representatives from liberal sciences. In this regard, the interdisciplinary collaborations among high-profile universities can play a key role.