Related Publications

The Engineering Life project builds on previous work conducted by the project team.

Engineering studies

  • Frow, E and Calvert, J (2013) ‘“Can simple biological systems be built from standardized interchangeable parts?” Negotiating biology and engineering in a synthetic biology competition’ Engineering Studies 5 (1): 42-58
  • Schyfter, P (2012) 'Technological biology? Things and kinds in synthetic biology' Biology & Philosophy 27 (1): 29-48
  • Schyfter, P (2013) 'Propellers and promoters: Emerging engineering knowledge in aeronautics and synthetic biology' Engineering Studies 5 (1): 6-25
  • Schyfter, P, Frow E and Calvert, J (2013) ‘Synthetic biology: Making Biology into an Engineering Discipline’ Guest editorial, special edition of Engineering Studies 5 (1): 1-5

Philosophical/conceptual issues

  • Calvert, J (2010) ‘Synthetic biology: constructing nature?’ Sociological Review 58 (s1): 95-112
  • Calvert, J (2012) ‘Systems biology, synthetic biology and data-driven research: a commentary on Krohs, Callebaut, and O’Malley and Soyer’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1): 81–84
  • O'Malley, M, Powell, A, Davies, J and Calvert, J (2008) 'Knowledge-making distinctions in synthetic biology' BioEssays  30 (1): 57–65
  • Schyfter, P (2012) 'Standing reserves of function: A Heideggerian reading of synthetic biology' Philosophy & Technology, 25:2, pp. 199-219
  • Schyfter, P (2013) 'How a ‘drive to make’ shapes the character of scientific and technological fields: An empirical study of synthetic biology' Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part C. 44 (4) Part B, 632–640


  • Frow, E.K. (2013) ‘Making big promises come true? Articulating and realizing value in synthetic biology’ BioSocieties 8: 432-448
  • Mackenzie, A., Waterton, C., Ellis, R., Frow, E.K., McNally, R., Busch, L. & Wynne, B. (2013) ‘Classifying, constructing, and identifying life: Standards as transformations of 'the biological'’Science, Technology, & Human Values 38: 701-722


  • Calvert, J (2014) 'Governing in the context of uncertainty' commentary in the special edition ‘Synthetic future: can we create what we want out of synthetic biology?’ Hastings Center Report 44(6): S31-S33
  • Calvert, J and Frow, E (2013) ‘Social Dimensions of Microbial Synthetic Biology’ in Colin Harwood and Anil Wipat, editors: Methods in Microbiology, Vol. 40: Microbial Synthetic Biology, Burlington: Academic Press, pp. 69-86
  • Frow, E and Calvert, J (2013) ‘Opening up the future(s) of synthetic biology’ Futures 48: 32-43
  • Wiek, A, Guston, D, Frow, E & Calvert, J (2012) 'Sustainability and anticipatory governance in synthetic biology' International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development 3 (2): 25-38

Intellectual property

  • Calvert, J (2008) ‘The commodification of emergence: systems biology, synthetic biology and intellectual property’ BioSocieties 3 (4): 385-400
  • Calvert, J (2012) ‘Ownership and sharing in synthetic biology: a ‘diverse ecology’ of the open and the proprietary?’ BioSocieties 7 (2): 169-187

Interdisciplinarity and collaboration

  • Calvert, J (2013) ‘Collaboration as a research method? Navigating social scientific involvement in synthetic biology’ Opening up the Laboratory: Approaches to early engagement with new technology (Editors: Ibo van de Poel, Mike Gorman, Daan Schuurbiers and Neelke Doorn) Dordrecht: Springer
  • Calvert, J and Martin, P (2009) ‘The role of social scientists in synthetic biology’ EMBO reports 10 (3): 201-204

Design and aesthetics