Team:KU Leuven/Human Practices/Bottom Up Public



Secret garden

Congratulations! You've found our secret garden! Follow the instructions below and win a great prize at the World jamboree!

  • A video shows that two of our team members are having great fun at our favourite company. Do you know the name of the second member that appears in the video?
  • For one of our models we had to do very extensive computations. To prevent our own computers from overheating and to keep the temperature in our iGEM room at a normal level, we used a supercomputer. Which centre maintains this supercomputer? (Dutch abbreviation)
  • We organised a symposium with a debate, some seminars and 2 iGEM project presentations. An iGEM team came all the way from the Netherlands to present their project. What is the name of their city?

Now put all of these in this URL:, (loose the brackets and put everything in lowercase) and follow the very last instruction to get your special jamboree prize!

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Bottom-up and Public Outreach

We reached out to the public in many different ways and for many different purposes. We evaluated our new approach towards the general public during our debate and symposium but we did not lose sight of our end-users. We interviewed farmers to gather information about their view on our project. On top of that we contacted the industry to see whether our project is a step in the right direction. We received a lot of interest from the industry and we got the opportunity to use their facilities to perform our own experiments. Amongst all this we did not forget to educate the next generation scientists and this is why we organised an educational workshop that we presented in schools all over Belgium.

The different parts of this approach are:
Hannah Arendt: We explained with the work of this philosopher why iGEM (and as a consequence our team) would like to make contact with the general public.
Debate: we organised a debate on ethical issues surrounding synthetic biology in a way which is accessible to students, academics, but also non-scientists.
The end user: We involved the end-users (farmers) in our project. By interviewing both farmers and the general public, and in this way, having direct contact with them, our project improves already in early stages.
Education: Our goal was to spark the interest of high school students interested in science to tell them more about our project and the applications of synthetic biology. We designed our own 3D-bacterial model and our own 'BioBricks' out of plexiglas.
Symposium: We organised a symposium with two scientific lectures by professor Robben and professor Verstrepen and two iGEM-project presentations. We are glad that the iGEM-team of Groningen came to Leuven to give a presentation about their project.
Press: After the symposium, we were contacted by several journalists who were interested in our project. We got two articles in one of the most popular newspaper of Flanders and Flore gave a great interview on Radio 2 (the biggest radio station in Flanders). After the European Jamboree, the Flemish Television Broadcast (VRT) was interested and we got an item in the news bulletin. Almost 2 million people saw us on television. You will find an overview at our Press page.

Click anywhere on the picture:

Image Map

Hannah Arendt

Public judgement & common sense


The borders of synthetic biology

The End User

Our idea is being supported!


Ensuring the future of science


Lectures for the general public


We were in the news!