The Bartlett School of Architecture


Markus Schmidt - Bartlett International Lecture Series

29 November 2017, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Markus Schmidt

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


Christopher Ingold Auditorium (accessed through The Bartlett), 20 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0AJ

Living outside the box: the promises and perils of synthetic biology 

Lecturer's Abstract

"Life sciences and biotechnology are believed to be the defining technology of the 21st Century. From genome editing to DNA synthesis to xenobiology, synthetic biology promises to completely redefine the relationship between nature, industry and society.

In this lecture we will focus on selected case studies about why and how to master the ongoing antibiotic resistance crisis, alter contemporary meat production, ranging from increased efficiency to creative alternatives, and reverse global environmental degradation.

The technological set of tools provided by synthetic biology will be contrasted with its foreseeable societal ramifications. Finally the outcome of a number of artist-in-residencies in synthetic biology laboratories will be introduced and discussed." 


Markus Schmidt is founder and team leader of BIOFACTION KG, a research, technology assessment and art-science company in Vienna, Austria. With an educational background in electronic engineering, biology and environmental risk assessment, he has carried out environmental risk assessment and safety and public perception studies in a number of science and technology fields, such as GM-crops, gene therapy, nanotechnology, converging technologies and synthetic biology.

Schmidt has worked on several research projects at the interface of biotechnology and society, published over 30 peer review papers and two edited books, worked as a policy advisory and enables the collaboration of art and science through festivals, exhibitions and residency programmes. 

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