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WP 4
Transnational Mobility and Public Engagement in Systems Biology (SB)
Workpackage leader: Alf Game, BBSRC, UK

Systems biology research covers one of the most exciting and challenging areas in modern science as it enables a holistic analysis of individual systems and processes. The benefits of this approach are immense and, as the area develops rapidly, some aspects of this research have the potential to raise concerns among the public.

ERASysBio partners are committed to tell the public about the research they fund but they also need to know what people think about this research to guide their own policies and decisions. ERASysBio recognises that it is essential to foster an environment of trust and to assist in the development of a society that is fully equipped to debate scientific issues.

ERASysBio believes that the debate on the ethical and societal implications of systems biology should be encouraged and influenced. ERASysBio funding organisations are fully aware of the ethical debate linking systems biology to synthetic biology and the growing concern among members of our society on the principle of assembling artificial components to form a living organism.

ERASysBio wishes to engage in science outreach - that is, organised activities targeted at our youth, school teachers, and general public that will increase their interest, understanding, and involvement in the powerful combination of maths, bioscience, physics and engineering which makes up the systems approach to biological research.The ERASysBio partners are now exploring mechanisms to reach and inspire the new generation through working with science teachers across the ERA.