Andrew Chang, Anne Cheever, Michael Fisher, Jeff Ubersax, Louise Horsfall
Synthetic biology offers significant promise for advances in health and medicine, food and energy production, and environmental sustainability. Realizing this potential requires continued commitment to driving bio-innovation, ensuring biosafety and biosecurity, and building a robust bioeconomy. This strategic action plan proposes the formation of an International Synthetic Biology Society to support the responsible development and deployment of synthetic biology in the public interest. While many disparate organizations are working in synthetic biology, there is currently no primary organization supporting the needs of diverse synthetic biologists seeking to steer and propel the broader trajectory of the field. A synthetic biology society could provide accurate and timely information about the state of the field to practitioners, policymakers, and the public. It would serve as a community forum to foster discussion, debate, and collaboration among diverse stakeholders and engage the public in learning about, and informing, members’ research. We aim to increase awareness and understanding of technical advancements to illustrate how synthetic biology affects, interacts with, and enriches our lives.