A new analysis by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center finds the Defense Department (DoD) and its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) fund much of the U.S. government's research in synthetic biology, with less than one percent of total federal funding going to risk research and about one percent addressing ethical, legal, and social issues. The report, U.S. Trends in Synthetic Biology Research, finds that between 2008 and 2014, the U.S. invested approximately $820 million dollars in synthetic biology research. In that time period, the DoD became a key funder of synthetic biology research. DARPA's investments, for example, increased from near zero in 2010 to more than $100 million in 2014, more than three times the amount spent by the National Science Foundation.
Do you think defense agencies need to devote more money to risk, ethical, legal, and social issues associated with synthetic biology research?