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2016-17 International Visitorship Talk Series

April 12 2017 | University College, London (U.K.)

Updated: April 09 2017

Alberto Aparicio De Narvaez presents:

Exploring responsibility and the limits of biology through the narratives and imaginaries of xenobiology
Recent developments in synthetic biology, more specifically in xenobiology, aim to build ‘new to nature’ forms of nucleic acids and proteins and incorporate them into living systems, along with organisms whose genetic code is expanded or recoded. Proponents of the field offer visions and technoscientific imaginaries of exploration and conquering new biological worlds, redrawing the limits of what is biologically possible. I argue that such limits involve a redefinition of the biological world and create a space for exploration that aims to draw resources and attention. Moreover, an association is made between the safety of genetically modified organisms and the development of contained, ‘safe-by-design’ synthetic organisms, resulting in a narrative of ‘the farther, the safer’. This rhetoric serves to justify research in the field, and responds to a perceived imaginary of the public as skeptical of emerging technologies.

11:50am-1:00pm, Coor 5536, light snacks & refreshments served

Please RSVP to Also, please indicate if you would like to meet with Alberto while he is visiting the ASU campus (Apr. 10 – Apr. 15).

The Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI) is an international network of 28 academic and institutional partners created to accelerate the formation of a community of scholars and practitioners who, despite divides in geography and political culture, will create a common concept of responsible innovation for research, training and outreach, contributing to the governance of emerging technologies.

Throughout the academic year, early career researchers from many VIRI partner sites will have an opportunity to engage with ASU faculty and students and present their research work to the ASU community. The VIRI project is funded by the National Science Foundation.