Navigation Links
New report finds increase in media coverage of synthetic biology

WASHINGTON Press coverage of synthetic biology in the United States and Europe increased significantly between 2008 and 2011, according to a report released today by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The report, Trends in American and European Press Coverage of Synthetic Biology: 2008 2011, builds on the project's earlier study of US-EU press coverage between 2003 and 2008. Synthetic biology, an area of research focused on the design and construction of new biological parts and devices, or re-design of existing biological systems, is an emerging technology that is just beginning to garner coverage in the mainstream press.

"Journalistic narratives and imagery can drive public perceptions of any scientific endeavor, so it is important for scientists, universities and funders to understand how the field is being represented in the press," said Eleonore Pauwels, a public policy scholar at the Wilson Center and coauthor of the report.

The report highlights a number of key trends seen over almost a decade of press coverage of the technology. First, the last three years have seen a significant increase in the sheer number of articles about synthetic biology. For example, coverage in the United States almost tripled between the 2003-2008 period and the 2008-2011 period. In the European Union there was a six-fold increase between these two periods.

The coverage also remains largely driven by events like the May 2010 announcement by the J. Craig Venter Institute of the creation of the first synthetic self-replicating cell and, immediately following that, the Obama administration tasking the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to examine the implications of that discovery.

Finally, the analysis shows that earlier discrepancies between the portrayal of risks and benefits in the press in the United States and the European Union with the U.S. media focused more on benefits have almost disappeared. There is also increased similarity in the types of concerns that were covered in the United States and Europe. Ethical concerns garner the most coverage in Europe, followed by biosafety and biosecurity issues. In the United States, biosafety is the top concern; in the 2003 period, the top concern was biosecurity.

Contact: Aaron Lovell
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

Related biology news :

1. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
2. Report presents designs for study of cancer risks near US nuclear facilities
3. Researchers report potential for a moderate New England red tide in 2012
4. Aware, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
5. Radiologists study necessity of additional imaging recommendations in PET/CT oncologic reports
6. BGI reports the completed sequence of foxtail millet genome
7. Science reporters win ASM Public Communications Award
8. ACRG and BGI report findings from genomics research on recurrent hepatitis B virus integration
9. iView Systems iTrak® version 5.5 delivers optimized Incident Reporting
10. Report details efforts to improve, advance indoor microbial sampling
11. New report examines effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/18/2015)... new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how cancer ... challenges in better using that knowledge to guide treatment ... children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling may ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric oncologist ... --> John M. Maris, M.D ., ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , Nov. 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today ... its Board of Directors. --> ... recently retiring from the partnership at TPG Capital, one ... with over $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and ... all the TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive Council, has officially ... to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV racing has exploded in ... racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community because of their ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its ... at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at the law ... Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel ... and Izhak Tamir to the Board of Directors; ... directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms of options ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In ... paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking ... 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LAVAL, QC , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ... the "Corporation") announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , ... a corporate presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th ... York Palace Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. ... be available for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: