Team:Macquarie Australia/HumanPracticeOverview


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Human Outreach Summary

The Macquarie University Team had a significant portion of our project and time spend on developing our Human Practice. This page acts as a central hub for all of our aspects of Human Practice and contains a small description of the work. To learn more about our aspects in greater depth click on the headings.


A number of initiatives have been put in place in order to educate the public about Synthetic Biology, with the iGEM competition one avenue that aims to promote the advancement of science and education by developing an open community of students and practitioners in schools, laboratories, research institutes, and industry. In order to connect our project with the wider community and to support iGEM's goal of fostering scientific education, our team has decided to develop a seminar which can be presented to secondary students which explores the concept of synthetic biology and examines the ethics and safety issues which are involved. This seminar would ideally be presented to year 12 biology students (as it complements the NSW High School Certificate Biology curriculum); however, we aim to make it accessible to the majority of secondary students.

Education Survey

As part of the workshop held with group of high school students, the present survey was completed in order to gauge the general perception towards synthetic biology, with particular emphasis on high school students taking biology as a subject. It was administrated before and after a seminar on Synthetic Biology and was designed to answer the following question: how does ones level of education regarding synthetic biology affect their perception of the ethical and safety issues that surround the technology?

Open Day

The Macquarie University Open Day on September 8 gave us an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of our project in the wider community. To take advantage of this, we developed an interactive exhibit where members of the public could learn about what we are seeking to do. We also aimed to challenge any negative connotations held by members of the public about synthetic biology and gene cloning, and the applications of these techniques.

Our Collaboration Survey

Our team has a strong belief that the best science is performed by working in groups. In this manner, collaboration between groups is highly attractive to us. Given some circumstances this is difficult for us to perform. We identified that the lateness of wiki updates was a significant problem and did not make collaborating easier. While the wikis are very open, we felt more could be done to improve communication and sharing between teams. Our results showed that teams were actively looking to collaborate. Systems to promote collaborations were also suggested.