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The conference will focus on the impacts of the life sciences on society through the development of biotechnology-based products for health and for sustaining the environment. The 21st century is sometimes referred to as “the century of biology” because of the potential contributions of the life sciences to virtually all research and consumer sectors. But assessing the outcomes a particular biotechnology may have on society or in research is difficult, due both to the complexities of these technologies, and to the multiple uses they may have. Further, biotechnology developments may be controversial because of ethical, economic and potential safety issues that might arise both in the research leading to these technologies, and in the wide use of the technologies themselves. The multidisciplinary group of speakers will present some of the most promising developments of biotechnology and discuss their ethical, economic and societal implications.