Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy

Ethical, Legal & Social Implications

Ethical, Legal & Social Implications


Ethical, Legal and Social Implications is one of our 10 main research themes. Find out about what we do, and which members of staff are involved.

The emergence of Synthetic biology has raised a range of issues. This research and the resulting applications have ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI).

Synthetic biology promises enormous benefits to society. There is also a range of potential risks that must be considered.

Our research

At Newcastle we are in a strong position to incorporate ELSI evaluation and public dialogue into our work. 

The University hosts the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre.

For over 15 years this Centre has been working in collaboration with scientists, clinicians, policy makers, and civil society groups. It explores ethical and social implications of a range of life science innovations.

Find out about our research theme staff members.


Find out which members of staff are involved in the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications research theme.

Professor Martyn Dade-Robertson
Professor of Emerging Technology, Co-Director of the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5926

Emerita Professor Erica Haimes
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, PEALS Research Centre

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3252 (messages)

Professor Janice McLaughlin
Professor of Sociology

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7511