Lalitha S. Sundaram

Published On


Page Range

pp. 55–78


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

3. Existential Risk and Science Governance

As existential risks are deeply related to science and scholars, this chapter proposes a new consideration of scientific governance, self-governance of technologies, and research culture as socio-technical processes opposed to the conventional idea of science as something extrinsic and beyond conditioning. The chapter provides examples of instances where scientists and communities have worked together to improve existing modalities.


Lalitha Sundaram

Senior Research Associate at Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

Lalitha S. Sundaram is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk who works in the area of bio-risk, with a particular emphasis on regulation and governance. She investigates risks—real or perceived—surrounding emerging biotechnologies such as synthetic biology and their convergence with artificial intelligence. Before joining CSER, Lalitha worked within the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh’s Arsenic Biosensor Collaboration where she developed strategy to take this novel synthetic biology product from bench to field, focusing regulation and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). Following this, she held a fellowship at King’s College London investigating the opportunities and challenges facing emerging biotechnologies seeking to tackle global health challenges. Lalitha’s PhD research, also at the University of Cambridge, used a combination of bioinformatic, next-generation sequencing and molecular biology tools to explore host-cell metabolic and microRNA changes following infection by the pathogenic parasite Toxoplasma gondii.