The Science & Ethics of Synthetic Biology

Week 1: Introduction to Synthetic Biology

Instructors: Erik Hartman and Blanka Novák

About the Course

For the first time in history, mankind can alter the blueprint of life. However, with such great power comes great responsibilities and a need for thorough ethical considerations before acting. This course will teach you about synthetic biology, a growing subfield of bio-technology which brings together the tools of genetic manipulation with engineering principles, as well as the ethical implications progress in the field entails.


During the weeks, accomplished global youth leaders and young researchers representing the international initiative, SynthEthics will come along and guide the participants in the maze of new-era biotechnology. Synthetic biology is one of those fields where it is best to get things right the first time because it might be the only chance we get.

Acquired Skills


• Soft skills: critical thinking, problem-framing and solving, analytical reasoning, adaptable intelligence, effective communication, collaboration

Hard skills: research process, ethical decision-making, information literacy, organization of arguments

Week 1: Introduction to Synthetic Biology

Central Topics

Week 2: Medicine and Gene-editing Technologies

Week 3: Agricultural Biotechnology and Ecology

Week 4: Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience

Week 5: Q and A session with iGEM Team representatives

Week 6: Presentation of Group Projects, End of Course

Week 2: Medicine and Gene-editing Technologies

Instructors: Shaira Gozun and Bea Suavengco

Buzz Online, US-based educational organisation offers six-week project-based courses developed & taught by nationally-recognized youth. They foster a community of empowered students who learn through creating and experimenting.


SynthEthics is grateful for this fruitful collaboration with BuzzOnline, bringing to life the “Science & Ethics of synthetic biology” international course

with 60+ participants from US, South Africa, India, Philippines, ages ranging from 11-19 years, and 10 instructors from Sweden, Hungary, Philippines, US, India and Denmark - SynthEthics and invited iGEM members. 

Week 3: Agricultural Biotechnology and Ecology

Instructors: Lester Sabadao and Aranyo Ray

Week 4: Neuroscience

Instructor: Jay Iyer

Week 5: Artificial Intelligence and iGEM Teams

Instructors: Arvid Larsson, Ignacio Pardo Casado and

Amr Ghazal; Hosts: Erik Hartman and Blanka Novák