• Overview
  • Vistors
  • Acknowledgement



    From Aug.23 to 27, we held a theme exhibition on synthetic biology, entitled Genesis of Synthetic Biology, at Ziqin Building, Xiamen, China. Thousands of visitors were attracted by the exhibition, and among them were both adults and kids. As far as we know, it is the first theme exhibition focusing on synthetic biology in China, even in Asia.

    The exhibition was basically composed of two forms. On one hand, 22 exhibition panels acted as the most important knowledge carriers illustrating issues such as what is synthetic biology? What is iGEM? How synthetic biology benefits our life? What if synthetic biology is misused by terrorists? What did we do in 2011 iGEM project and what shall we do this year? On the other hand, we also created a small but cozy cinema. Showed on the screen were various resources linked with synthetic biology as well as iGEM competition. For instance, we selected several documentaries about the central dogma, human genome project, cell and life, and through this window we also presented our 2011 iGEM project, in which we synthesized intelligent control-cell- density bacteria (iccdB) and awarded by gold medal. For better publicizing effect, the panels were written in Chinese instead of English. Moreover, we also offered guidance to visitors explaining some of recondite concepts.

    A message board was under our consideration too. Many visitors, after visiting the exhibition, initiatively left their messages and stick the post-in-note. It is quite exciting and gratified to notice that the majority messages are encouraging words wishing us a good result in 2012 iGEM competition. Besides, some visitors wrote down their opinions-both positive and negative-towards synthetic biology while others simply post their tip-papers showing their appearance on the exhibition.

    In the 250 m2 hall, we considerably arranged all the elements so to utilize the space to the fullest. Thanks to many moveable post boards, we designed a boot-like route for visitors. To be more concrete, visitors were expected to go firstly at the peripheral venue before they enter the cinema. If we could birdview the whole space, we would interestingly find that the entire visiting route resembles a boot very much. This layout not only provided us exact space to post all the panels, but also created a mysterious atmosphere which attracts visitors' interests tightly, for that they had to adjust their directions frequently to follow the content and it seemed that they were travelling in the history of synthetic biology development filling with success and setbacks. At last, visitors sat down to enjoy short videos and even to think about science and ethics. Actually, the human-based route received many nice comments.


    Visitors for the exhibition came from various fields, ranging from students to businessperson and from officials to professors. This means our exhibition was accepted by people from different background. We selected some visitors in five scenes as representatives.

    Scene 1 on Aug. 25
    A lady with her girl stepped in the exhibition hall. After their visiting, the lady told us that her husband who is a professor in life science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology served as one of the judge committee members in 2011 iGEM Asian Jamboree. She also said it's a pity that her husband was not able to travel with them to Xiamen this time due to personal schedule, or he must be interested in our exhibition and proud of us.

    Scene 2 on Aug. 26 A retired biology professor came to the exhibition hall. He did research in enzymes and cancer-treating. We noticed that he, though covered with silver hair, was still hale and hearty. He carefully viewed the panels one by one, nodding sometimes to show his agreement with the content in front of him. When we talked with him, he praised us for well organization of the exhibition. What's more, he also give us some suggestions on how to simplify and visualize obscure scientific concepts.
    Scene 3 on Aug. 26
    Some middle school students paid a visit to our exhibition. They came from Quanzhou, Fujian Province and they hoped they can enter Xiamen University after their graduation for further study. Although not all of them loved science, three still expressed their strong interest in biology. One of them even said that he will dedicate in synthetic biology field. At last, we left this joint picture. The woman stands at the second from left is their leading teacher.

    Scene 4 on Aug. 27
    On this closing day, almost all our team members appeared at the hall to leave pictures and celebrate the success of the exhibition. At this moment, a young couple entered and asked for a joint photo. We happily received their invitation and we formed a heart-shape circle surrounding them. Finally, they thanked us and left their best wished to our team – win the championship in 2012 iGEM.

    Scene 5 on Aug. 27
    Economy is a prosperous major in Xiamen University. On that day, a group of students from Department of Economy visited our exhibition. While we orally illustrating the contents in each panels, they showed great interests. Actually, their perspective differs from ours because they stress more importance on the market and commercial-related issues about synthetic biology. By asking numerous questions, they in fact also brought us a spirit that science and technology is expected to become real commodities to benefit the public rather than constrained in laboratory.

    We thank XMU Youth League committee especially Ms. Jia SUN for providing the exhibition hall and tools and furniture. The exhibition is financially funded by College of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, XMU. During the exhibition, XMU Student Activity Center Commission offered many kind help. When we prepared the exhibition, we collected many pictures from igemhp's flickr and each picture appeared on the panels was contributed to its original author. Besides, our major reference is Introduction to Synthetic Biology published by Science Press which is written by associated professor Kai SONG et al from Tianjin University.