10 Sep 2020
Cyberlaw Professor Justin Firestone published a paper entitled The Need for Soft Law to Regulate Synthetic Biology, which is available on the American Bar Association website.
In his paper, Firestone provides an updated analysis of recent events to encourage renewed efforts to coordinate stronger regulatory schemes and attempts to explain why traditional hard laws, such as international agreements, statutes, or regulations, cannot prevent or mitigate accidental or malicious threats from synthetic biology. A soft law approach—cooperation and collaboration between stakeholders from government, academia, industry, the DIY community, and the public—is suggested as the only viable option. Lastly, synthetic biologists should also collaborate with computer scientists to apply software engineering principles to their work as a way to validate and verify the safety and security of their designs.