Centre for Integrative Biological Signalling Studies
Cluster of Excellence, University of Freiburg

Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Signalling Research

Research addressing fundamental biological questions is a major source of innovation in medicine, biotechnology and fortified crops needed to meet current global challenges. However, there is a need for research and dialogue on the ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSAs) with regard to the ability to modify, control and engineer biological systems and their components. In addition to discussions focussed on the products and outcomes of research, it is necessary to examine further questions, including freedom of science, standards of research integrity, and the implications of genome editing in different fields. Through research, workshops and dialogue with internationally recognised experts in the legal and ethical issues surrounding biomedical research and biotechnology, CIBSS will encourage critical examination of the implications of signalling research and to promote a culture of responsibility. These activities will be closely linked to the Freiburg Network on Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Science and Technology (FELSA), a visionary university-wide network that will provide a platform for open, iterative discourse on the far-reaching ethics, legal and social aspects of science and technology.


Funded projects within ELSA

 • Ethics and Metaphoric Framings of Molecular Biotechnologies (Joachim Boldt)

 • Control-of-Function Technologies - a Conflict between Morality and Benefits? (Marcel van Ackeren)

 • Responsible Science and Technology - The Legal and Ethical Framework of Control-of-Function Research and Technology (Silja Voeneky)