SeminBar is public lecture series featuring international scientists talking about their research emphasizing engaging key scientific concepts and visions relevant to molecular systems engineering in a format understandable to a wider audience.

The SeminBar is held at SUD in Basel in English and starts at 6 pm. It is open to the public. Accompanying the talk is a live music act, a buffet dinner and drinks at the bar.

Life as a construct - the ethics of synthetic biology

3 May 2018

The advent of novel fields and disciplines in technology raise the question whether our current normative concepts in ethics and law will be sufficient to cover and regulate the development and application of the new opportunities for action. This also applies also to the novel field of “synthetic biology”. Decisions have to be made with regard to the goals of research in synthetic biology as well as the means to be developed in order to reach these goals. Moreover, the risks and side effects considered acceptable and the mechanisms of control considered necessary, need to be determined. Furthermore, clarification is required as to who is in charge to make such decisions and who takes responsibility. Answers to such questions rely primarily on ethical considerations.

Prof. Thomas Heinemann.

Professor Thomas Heinemann deals with the question whether, and if so, which novel ethical challenges emerge with regard to the basic idea and the concepts of synthetic biology and whether a special “ethics of synthetic biology” is needed. Thomas Heinemann is a physician by training having specialized in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and molecular medicine, as well as a philosopher. He spent some time as a scientist in the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism at Rockefeller University, New York. He completed a doctoral thesis in philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at University of Bonn in 2005 and since 2011, he holds a Chair for Ethics, Theory and History of Medicine at Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Vallendar in Germany.

Previous SeminBar speakers

6 March 2018: PD Dr. Sonja Kleinlogel
Sonja Kleinlogel is at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Bern. She talked about "When light and viruses may heal us: a glimpse behind the scenes of clinical research". Read more in the event flyer.

2 November 2017: Prof. Bradley Hyman
Bradley Hyman is a Professor of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He talked about "Alzheimer’s disease: snapshots from the journey towards a cure". Read more in the event flyer.

25 January 2017: Prof. Dirk Trauner
Prof. Dirk Trauner from the New York University (NYU) talked about “Synthetic Photobiology”. 
Read more in the event flyer.

30 November 2016: Prof. Anthony J. Ryan
Prof. Ryan from the University of Sheffield/UK talked about "3 Millenia of Condoms",  and on the material properties of rubber, and the place of condoms in popular culture. Read more in the event flyer.

20 September 2016: Prof. Cees Dekker
Prof. Dekker from the Delft University of Technology talked about "What is life, and how does life differ from non-life?" Later, Cees Dekker jammed with students onstage. Read more here.

10 May 2016: Dr. Philipp Holliger
Philipp Holliger - MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology - talked about "A Synthetic Biology Approach to Abiogenesis". Read more here.

26 November 2015: Dr. Philippe Marlière
Dr. Philippe Marlière is the founder of Synthetic- and Xeno-Biology. “Accept No Limits” was the title of his speech. Read more here.

28 October 2015: Prof. Dr. Andreas Plückthun
Prof. Dr. Andreas Plückthun, Director at the Departement of Biochemistry at University of Zurich, spoke at the third SeminBar on 28 October 2015 about "Influencing cells with man-made proteins". Read more here.

Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti's artistic vision of artificial trees producing energy.

7 May 2015: Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti
Prof. Dr. Markus Antonietti from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam-Golm spoke at the second SeminBar on 7 May 2015 about "Black and Orange Magic". Read more here. 

DNA Origami Wallpaper

14 January 2015: Prof. Dr. Hendrik Dietz
The first SeminBar took place on 14.1.2015 with a public lecture by Prof. Dr. Hendrik Dietz from TU Munich on “Molecular Systems Engineering with DNA”. Read more here.

SeminBar @SUD

SeminBar welcomes you at SUD, Burgweg 7, 4058 Basel.