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DNA Helix

Cofund on Biotechnologies

Innovation for Europe – life science meets market application


European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series Event

Boris Vashev, FNR
Boris Vashev, FNR

As part of the ERA CoBioTech additional activities programme we cordially invite you to attend the upcoming series of seminars exploring the social, environmental, political and ethical dimensions of biotechnology in Europe.

Each seminar will bring two speakers into dialogue, offering their perspectives on new approaches, methods, and (good and bad!) experiences, developed to better-understand the place of biological science in the world today.

With speakers from within and beyond ERA CoBioTech, the sessions will address topics covering the environmental, social and economic sustainability of biotechnologies; interdisciplinarity methodologies for collaboration across the social and natural sciences; the relationships between science and citizens; the institutional lessons from funders and larger research centres; as well as practical lessons from researchers at the interface of science, technology and society.

Seminars will run online and weekly from 30 September 2020 at 14:00-15:00 CEST:

  • Session 1: 30 September, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 2: 7 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 3: 14 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 4: 21 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 5: 28 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CET
  • Session 6:   4 November, 14:00 – 15:00 CET

On the 21st of October at 18.00 CEST, we will also be running the first ever CoBio Tavern - a virtual pub to enable informal discussion and networking among the participants and the speakers.

The participation at the event is free of charge but registration is necessary. Register for the event here:

Please visit the special event website to find most recent information or contact the organising team at

The seminar series forms part of ERA CoBioTech's work on Responsible Research and Innovation, and biotechnology capacity building and is organised by Boris Vashev (FNR), Robert Smith (University of Edinburgh) and Thoko Kamwendo (Durham University).


Speakers and their provisional topics are below:

Wednesday 30th September

  • Alan Goddard (Aston University) – Diverse routes to dissemination and engagement in MeMBrane.
  • Phil Macnaghten (Wageningen University) and Michelle Habets (Rathenau Instituut) –
  • Breaking the impasse: Towards a forward‐looking governance framework for gene editing with plants.

Wednesday 7th October

  • Alfred Nordmann and Janine Gondolf (TU Darmstadt) – Provenance Assessment as a method for integrating RRI into the research process.
  • Cecilie Mathiesen, Øystein Rønning and Helge Rynning (Norwegian Research Council) – Responsible innovation and transformative innovation policy as frameworks for research funding policy

Wednesday 14th October

  • Eleanor Hadley Kershaw (University of Nottingham), Stevienna de Saille (University of Sheffield) and Carmen McLeod (University of Newcastle) – RRI in CoBioTech: Challenges and opportunities of using Lego Serious Play.
  • Amy Clare & Ruth Müller  Munich Center for Technology in Society, TU Munich - What are we talking about? Understanding how context matters for assessing biotech innovations in agriculture”

Wednesday 21st October

  • Ursula Weisenfeld, Cristina Blohm and Antoniya Hauerwaas (Leuphana University of Lüneberg) – Sustainable Co-Production: stakeholders and knowledgeholders.
  • Trygve Brautaset (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) – Responsible innovation in the Centre for Digital Life, Norway.

Wednesday 28th October

  • Mabel Gracia Arnaiz, Veronica Anzil and Lina Marín (Universitat Rovira i Virgili) – An ethnographic approach to assess the social impact of a biotechnological intervention in wine: methodological considerations and a pint of results from CoolWine.
  • Jim Haseloff (University of Cambridge) – Opening up plant synthetic biology.

Wednesday 4th November

  • Eva Sevigné-Itoiz, Lorenzo Di Lucia, Onesmus Mwabonje and Jeremy Woods (Imperial College London) – Implementing RRI: integrating life cycle analysis & stakeholder engagement.
  • Lotte Asveld (TU Delft) – Title To Be Confirmed.
  • Michael Bernstein (Arizona State University) – Discussant

Download poster [PDF, 1.02 MB, not barrierefree]

Download programme of the event [PDF, 215.1 KB, not barrierefree]


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