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Human Practices & Outreach

This year we have worked on to generate a huge impact, not only among the nonscientific community, but also with different sectors that are involved in the development of scientific research here in Colombia. With all this in mind, we performed several sensibilization activities towards synthetic biology applications, both in public elementary schools and coffee growers affiliated to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation. In September 3 we organized and held a special forum named “Research in Colombia: Obtaining Research Permits, Contracts for Access to Genetic Resources and Biological Collections”, focused on the participation of high level government officers, researchers and leaders from the public and private industry. Among the attendants, we had representatives from entities such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, and the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias). What we did this year can serve as a model for the organization of decision-making processes aimed to scientifically relevant laws. This is particularly relevant in developing countries where the legislation regarding GMOs and other aspects of biological research are not clear, or existent.