Human pratices

Spreading the word

Raising public awareness to the field of synthetic biology is important, and as scientists in the field it is our responsibility. We held several lectures, organized hands on activities at different schools, and gained media attention. We also spread the word of our work (and of synthetic biology in general) to our fellow scientists and students through the university newspapers and by speaking at gatherings.

University outreach
As a part of the outreach at the university, we gave the inaugural presentation to the student group Biovidenskabelig formidling på SDU, ”Bioscientific dissemination at SDU”. The presentation centered on our project and what it means to be a part of the iGEM competition. The group is open to all students associated to the institute of biochemistry and molecular biology. After our presentation, we received feedback, which improved our presentation skills for the jamboree in Lyon and Boston. Additionally, we answered the slew of interested questions about the iGEM competition and our research.

Our work was also featured in the university magazine Sund & Hed. Not only once, but twice. In the first article Andreas talked about being an iGEM’er, what iGEM is, and joining the team for the second time. The second article in Sund & Hed followed as a continuation of the first. In the article, Sofie and Sissel were interviewed about the team, our brainstorming process, and the prospect of spending our entire vacation in a lab.

Pupils deeply facinated by the DNA they just extracted from a banana. Public outreach
In an attempt to spark the interest for the natural sciences and synthetic biology in kids and young adults, we participated in the Dansk naturvidenskabelig festival, “Danish natural science festival”. As part of the project, we visited several public schools and gave small talks on what DNA and GMO is. Through play and hands-on activities, we taught the kids proper handling of lab equipment such as pipettes and how to extract DNA from bananas with simple household equipment.

We also visited 2 high schools; The purpose of our lectures was to spread the word of the iGEM competition and synthetic biology. We explained concept of synthetic biology, iGEM, our project, and why we had chosen the subject at hand. We also spoke in general terms about studying at the University of Southern Denmark in the fields of medicine and biomedicine.

The Media
We had an article published in Ugeavisen Vejle (page 12) about Patrick’s involvement on the iGEM team and the field of synthetic biology. He is native of the region, and upon returning to his high school in the town of Vejle (one of the two mentioned above), the newspaper published a press release urging the public to attend his talk.

The university newspaper, Sund & Hed, are currently planning a third article to be published following the Regional Jamboree. Also, we are in touch with the widely published regional newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende in order to give an interview upon our return from the Regional Jamboree.

Since the European Jamboree in Lyon, there has been a lot of interest toward our project from the media. This has resulted in a number of articles, radio and tv-shows about SDU-Denmarks participation in the iGEM-competition.

A list of some media coverage of our team:

Pictures from our visits to the different schools