Team:Westminster/Outreach

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Revision as of 23:07, 26 September 2012

SURVEY

Statistical analysis was done based on the survey data that was collected to determine the acceptance of genetically modified products in various fields (environment and medical) from individuals with different knowledge of biology ranging from negligible to a more advanced level. Our survey result from approximately one hundred people demonstrates that most people including those with base level knowledge of biology were very much interested in using genetically modified organisms in various fields like food, environment and medicine. In addition to this, people were also eager to use synthetic biology in the cure of cancer since our project was mainly focused on the application of synthetic biology in cancer therapy. Although this was the first year for our university to initiate creating awareness about synthetic biology to the public, we were very surprised to know that currently in the 21st century there is decreasing number of people without some knowledge of biology. We hope to fill these gap in the near future years via iGEM

IGEM SOCIETY

This year (2012) was the first year for University of Westminster to actively participate in the thriving iGEM competition. We encountered many difficulties being the fresh new team, as a result we organised an iGEM society to promote synthetic biology, develop greater awareness of science education and attract more students towards future iGEM teams. The main aim of iGEM society is to promote the knowledge of synthetic biology and iGEM competition in our university. We held a stall during our Fresher’s fair through which we introduced synthetic biology to as many students as possible which attracted them to participate in iGEM society. This method of communication was most effective as even before the fresh minds get busy and commence with their academics, made unimaginable number of students to get participated in the society. To further progress, keeping our new society’s development live and active, we had consistently kept in touch with all the members with regular meetings, events and social networking. During these meetings, we discussed about different ideas for the betterment of the current iGEM team and also implemented new ideas for the future team. Furthermore, we also had a presentation of our project to the members of the society. These events actually created more attention about us in our campus which can be very beneficial for the future team. We initiated society members to form new groups among them with varied interest and ideas to research & develop one or more new ideas for forthcoming iGEM team’s project.

FRESHERS' FAIR

During the fresher’s day of our university, we had a presentation stand through which we could introduce synthetic biology, iGEM competition and iGEM society. Survey was also performed simultaneously in order to involve thoughts of students from a diversity of background. We made our iGEM poster viewable in foyer television to attract roaming and lost students to visit our stall for more information. We also made some posters to explain synthetic biology and iGEM competition. Posters explained the basic idea and encouraged many students to join in iGEM society. We think our posters made many students more aware of synthetic biology and iGEM competition itself.

INTERVIEW

We spoke with Dr. Miriam Dwek, who is the head of the Against Breast Cancer Unit at the University of Westminster. She spoke about her research, what she thinks about our work and gave some advice on overselling.