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Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) (RAEng) 2009This report presents the findings of an exploratory public dialogue project, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering and conducted by People Science and Policy Ltd (PSP) to explore uninformed and informed perceptions of and attitudes to synthetic biology in the UK. This study was carried out to complement the Academy’s inquiry into synthetic biology, published in May 2009 (www.raeng.org.uk/synbio) which recommended that: “an active and ongoing public engagement programme must be established which creates platforms for various stakeholders and publics to share their views on both the potential benefits of synthetic biology and their concerns as the technology develops”. This report gives an early and preliminary insight into public perceptions and reactions to synthetic biology and reveals some issues and themes worthy of further exploration. The findings also provide a baseline measure of awareness in the UK which will be useful for comparing changes over time.