Team:University College London/HumanPractice/AccessBio


Access Bio

"Will the world be a safe place if we make biology easy to engineer? How do the lessons of the past inform the discussion going forward? Think beyond just convincing people that 'synthetic biology is good'."


Inspired by these quotes from the iGEM website, this year we set out to ‘challenge’ public perceptions about genetically modified organisms and inform people about synthetic biology by planning to collaborate with ‘biohackers’ or citizen scientists from the London DIYbio community to work on a spinoff component of one of our modules in a public lab during a 5 day period.

The public lab we have in mind will be easily observable from the street giving passer-bys a view into standard experiments that are otherwise hidden in the lab. By arranging such human practices activity, and thus enabling people to have a first hand experience, we are taking a step forward in giving people a real exposure of what synthetic biology as an emerging technology is about so we can have an informative public discussion.

By collaborating on a module, we are giving people ‘ownership’ of a small part of our project. In doing so we are providing the community with access to our project, and inviting their opinions and their ideas. There will be a reflective panel discussion at the last day of the event where people following our event can take part, and influence our work.