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Forum explores impacts of emerging biotechnologies

Forum to explore impacts of emerging biotechnologies

The impact of emerging biotechnologies will be the topic of a two-day forum to be held in Wellington on 5 and 6 September 2003.

The Foundation for Research, Science & Technology is organising the "Impact of Emerging Biotechnologies Forum" that will be open to the public, the research community, media, politicians and other key influencers.

The Foundation's Group Manager of Portfolio Manager, John Smart, says the forum is timely, leading into the end of the constraint period on release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in October 2003.

"The Foundation has developed a broad portfolio of research into the environmental, socio-economic, ethical and cultural aspects of emerging biotechnologies including genetic modification over recent years, some of which is generating useful information, some of which is just beginning, " says John Smart.

"This will be an opportunity to gain an understanding on the research going on in this area in New Zealand and internationally", he says

The general outline for the Forum is as follows:

* Friday: The forum will focus in detail on the science - presentations will be given by each of the science teams being funded by FRST;

* Saturday: Sessions will be targeted to a more general audience, and will include a mix of commentaries, presentations and panel discussions. A few selected researchers will present on this day and will join in a series of panel discussions. The audience will be able to ask questions about the research and what it is trying to achieve. Sir Paul Reeves will address the meeting from his position as chair of the Bioethics Council and organisers are planning to have a keynote speaker who can give an external perspective to the New Zealand situation.

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