Centre for Rural Economy

Shan Jin

Shan Jin

Public perceptions of and attitudes towards synthetic biology: Applications in agriculture and food production

Email: s.jin13@newcastle.ac.uk

Supervisors: Prof Lynn J. Frewer, Dr Sharron Kuznesof and Dr Beth Clark

Project overview

My project seeks to acquire an in-depth understanding of the public perceptions of, and attitudes towards, synthetic biology - especially its applications in the agrifood sector.

Its results are intended to help establish public opinion-based governance of synthetic biology. I am to develop strategies for ensuring these agrifood applications, in particular products, are designed, developed and commercialised in line with public preferences and priorities.

As a result, a number of questions will be answered in this project:

  1. What are the potential applications of synthetic biology in the agrifood sector and what are the public attitudes towards them?
  2. Are there raised issues specific to synthetic biology compared with other emerging technologies within the agrifood sector?
  3. What are the public preferences in terms of potential agrifood applications?
  4. What are the determinants of public acceptance or rejection of synthetic biology applied in the agrifood sector?
  5. How do people make a trade-off between perceived benefits and risks of synthetic biology in the context of agrifood applications?