International Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.


European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series

The European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series is a part of the ERA CoBioTech additional activities programme. It is dedicated to exploring the social, environmental, political and ethical dimensions of biotechnology in Europe. The seminar series forms part of ERA CoBioTech's work on Responsible Research and Innovation, and biotechnology capacity building.

What you can expect

Each seminar will bring two speakers into conversation, offering their perspectives on new approaches, methods, and (good and bad!) experiences developed to better-understand the place of biological science in the world today.

With speakers from within and beyond ERA CoBioTech, the sessions will address topics covering the environmental, social and economic sustainability of biotechnologies; interdisciplinarity methodologies for collaboration across the social and natural sciences; the relationships between science and citizens; the consequences for funders and large research centres; as well as practical lessons from researchers at the interface of science, technology and society.

When the event will take place?

The seminars will run weekly from 30 September to  4 November 2020 at 14:00 – 15:00 (CE(S)T):

  • Session 1:      30 September, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 2:        7 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 3:      14 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 4:      21 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Session 5:      28 October, 14:00 - 15:00 CET
  • Session 6:        4 November, 14:00 - 15:00 CET

CoBio Tavern!

On the 21 October 2020 at 18:00 CEST the first ever CoBioTavern – a virtual pub to enable informal discussion and networking among the participants and the speakers will be running.

Registration & Agenda

Participation is free of charge but requires registration.  You can register for the event here:


The event will take place on zoom. A link to join will be sent together with the confirmation of your registration.

The full programme can be downloaded here.


Speakers, topics and materials

Wednesday 30th September - Seminar materials:

Wednesday 7th October

Wednesday 14th October

Wednesday 21st October

Wednesday 28th October

  • An ethnographic approach to assess the social impact of a biotechnological intervention in wine: methodological considerations and a pint of results from CoolWine. – Mabel Gracia Arnaiz, Veronica Anzil and Lina Casadó (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
  • Opening up plant synthetic biology. – Jim Haseloff (University of Cambridge)

Wednesday 4th November


ERA CoBioTech


For more information, contact the organizing team at rri-cobiotech(at)


Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) Germany

Dr Boris Vashev

Consultant EU/International Department

Responsible for BioTech Hub Workshops and Status Seminars in ERA CoBioTech


Dr Boris Vashev

The University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr Robert Smith

Research Fellow, Social Dimensions of Synthetic Biology

Science Technology and Innovation Studies, School of Social and Political Science


Dr Robert Smith

The University of Edinburgh, UK

Rosalind Attenborough

Research Assistant, Building Capacity for Resonsible Innovation in International Biotechnology Policy Organisations

Science Technology and Innovation Studies, School of Social and Political Science


Dr Rosalind Attenborough

Durham University, UK

Dr Zara Thokozani (Thoko) Kamwendo

Postdoctoral Research Associate 

St John’s College, Durham University





Dr Zara Thokozani (Thoko) Kamwendo

ERA CoBioTech has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 722361.






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