InternationalFachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.


European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series

The European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series 2021 forms part of ERA CoBioTech's work on Responsible Research and Innovation and biotechnology capacity building. After the first series of six seminars was successfully completed last autumn, the organising team have decided to run another series in summer 2021, responding to enthusiasm expressed by participants. Once again, the series will explore the social, environmental, political and ethical dimensions of biotechnology in Europe. It will take place in June and July 2021.

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. After each session, there will be an opportunity for informal discussion with the speakers.

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 9 June to 7 July 2021 at 14:00 – 15:00 CEST:

  • Seminar session 1:    09 June, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Seminar session 2:    16 June, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Seminar session 3:    23 June, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Seminar session 4:    30 June, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST
  • Seminar session 5:    07 July, 14:00 - 15:00 CEST


The seminar series will be broadcasted on Zoom to registrants.

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 and topics

Wednesday 9th June - Seminar materials:

  • Introducing the seminar series: a space beyond the project 

Robert SmithThoko Kamwendo and Boris Vashev (University of Edinburgh, Durham University & Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR))

Maja Horst (Responsible Technology Section, Technical University of Denmark (DTU))

Matthias Stratmann (Nova-Institut GmbH)

Wednesday 16th June - Seminar materials:

Lieke Nijland and Rob Heinsbroek (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek / Dutch Research Council (NWO))

Thomas Franssen (Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University)

Wednesday 23th June:

  • HotSolute: Sustainability from the view of the chemical industry 

Felix Müller (Evonik Operations GmbH)

  • Acting responsibly through openness? Reflections on open science 

Ana Maria Delgado Aleman (TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

Wednesday 30th June:

  • Environmental ethics by committee 

Tess Doezema (Munich Centre for Technology in Society, TU Munich)

  • Can science be more like music? 

Tom McLeish (University of York)

Wednesday 7th July:

  • Special session: Responsible innovation as social learning in ERA CoBioTech 

Eleanor Hadley Kershaw (University of Nottingham)

Joanne Bentonand Jose Jimenez Zarco (Imperial College London)

Robert Smith (University of Edinburgh)

Thoko Kamwendo (Durham University)



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


ERA CoBioTech
BIOTECH HUB - European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series organised by ERA CoBioTech

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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Read about our previous seminar series

European Biotechnology and Society Online Seminar Series 2020
Edinburgh Hub for Responsible Innovation

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