Her lifelong efforts to promote responsible science first began to take shape in 1967, when she prepared a Science article that interpreted early efforts by Arthur Kornberg and colleagues to synthesize biologically active DNA in vitro. She predicted that the research, now seen as an early step toward recombinant DNA technology and gene therapy, would "bring closer the day when the ability to manipulate genetic material can be used for improving the life of all humans."
In 1973, Singer co-chaired a Gordon conference, where she focused on helping to address early concerns about potential risks of recombinant DNA technology. She was then an organizer of the famous 1975 Asilomar conference, and was among five signers of the summary statement of the Asilomar report, which set forth guidelines for recombinant DNA research. By recommending resumption of recombinant DNA research, but under very cautious safeguards, the Asilomar report established a framework for the responsible conduct of research and ensured the gradual removal of restrictions as understanding of the technology grew in subsequent years.
Singer also has sought to address the decline of U.S. mathematics and science education, scientific literacy within the general population, and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences. At Carnegie, for example, Singer introduced "First Light," a project that makes it possible for third, fourth and fifth graders to attend an imaginative Saturday science school. In 1994, Singer further initiated the Carnegie Academy for Science Education, designed to bring the innovative techniques of First