#Biotech: The need for biotechnology communication

Jorge Carla. Composition with two green helices, 2018. Mixed techniques on paper, 43 × 50 cm.

The communication of biotechnology has played a key role in recent years. The great advances made and the speed with which new genetic editing techniques are implemented raise enormous expectations but also concerns. Good communication of the application of biotechnology in different fields – medicine, agriculture, industry – must be accompanied by a constant dialogue between scientists and society.

The idea of this monographic came from the II Conference of the Association of Biotechnology Communicators (AcB in its Spanish initialism), of which I am a member. It was held in Valencia a couple of years ago, and some of the topics that aroused the most interest, debate and participation – such as the constant flow of new information about CRISPR, animal experimentation or the importance of understanding what information a DNA analysis can provide – have served as the basis for some of the documents in this issue. Others, such as the public perception of biotechnology and the importance of the use of metaphors to explain some biotechnological processes, complete this multifaceted view of communication and biotechnology.

The works that illustrate this monograph are the work of the artist Jorge Carla (Madrid, 1974), who, through shapes and colour stains, explores and reflects on the aspects of biotechnology that are most suggestive to him.

© Mètode 2018 - 97. Online only. #Biotech - Spring 2018

CSIC scientific researcher at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Spanish National Centre for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) and the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Rare Diseases (CIBERER-ISCIII) in Madrid (Spain). His team is pioneering the use of CRISPR in Spain to investigate rare human diseases such as albinism using animal models. In 2006, he founded the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), which he chaired until 2014. He currently directs the European Society for Pigment Cell Research (ESPCR) and is a member of the CSIC ethics committee and the European Research Council (ERC) ethics panel.