Human Practice

We decided to put on line the various answers we had from the survey. However as some team members requested, those answers are anonymous.

Some of them were in English, others were in French. For the French ones, translations will come during the summer.

First Survey

C/ What is their reaction when you tell them you are engineering tadpoles?

Usually it ends up in a joke about frogs doing crazy stuff. Maybe they don’t take it that seriously.

“ohhhh It’s like the GMOs but whit animals” “I will call the SPA”.

C'est vrai que le côté têtard dérange un peu en général, ils me posent des questions sur jusqu'où peut aller ce genre de projet.

At first it is just big question marks on the way to do so, and how are going to do so.

Très enthousiastes eux aussi :) Aucun ne m'a sorti "oué mais les pauvre petits têtards vont prendre trop cher", ou, "tu joues avec la vie, et avec la nature".

Ils rigolent! Surtout quand je leur explique qu’on les fait devenir fluorescent! Mais en leur expliquant les applications (détection de polluants) ils comprennent que c’est utile malgré l’étrangeté de la chose.

Les amis scientifiques trouvent ça cool d'utiliser un organisme supérieur au lieu de la banale bactérie, et ils trouvent que ça change de la sourie.. Pour les autres ils ont un peu l impression qu'on joue a Dieu, mais tant que c'est utile ça passe.

I was surprised by many people's reaction. I thought many people would react very emotionaly and strongly, but I saw much more people than expected who didn't felt bad at all about this project. The fact we design a biosensor may be part of this soft reaction, evil for a good cause is easier to support. What surprised me the most is how some people wouldn't even understand there was an ethical issue with the project. Someone at *** told us "Since you're not working on human, how can there be ethical issue?"...

Usually it ends up in a joke about frogs doing crazy stuff. Maybe they don’t take it that seriously.

Some find it "cool" and interesting and think that synthetic biology has great future, others think about GMOs and are reluctant to the idea to doing the same in animals. In fact they already see genetically engineered frogs all around them; they don't really react upon the fact we'll experiment on tadpoles.

Sceptical, I would say.

They were really surprised, but also fascinated when I told them the entire story, because they thought that what happens in the films is really happening in the reality. I think they were also afraid of the future.

I usually get raised eyebrows at first. Then comes the usual joke, “What for ? Fairy light ?” After that there are two different types of reaction; either let me explain, or they already have made their own opinion about it. If they want to understand then I make my best to explain the project the best I can, if not I take it with humor and joke about it.

It is ambiguous for them, so mostly they are wondering or amazed.

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