We learned about the need for public education when we were working on our project. We found that many highly educated students had never heard of synthetic biology at all, even those in biology-related majors. The relationship between climate change, energy and the environment is also something we should understand now that we are living in an increasingly challenging climate.
In addition, one of the our questions in the questionnaire was " Have you heard of any real cases of harm caused by genetic modification in your life", and in the "Yes" box, there was an optional "Please describe the case. The question " Have you heard of any real cases of harm caused by genetic modification in your life? The results showed that 7.52% of the respondents chose this option, and there were many ridiculous reasons such as "GM causes disease in humans," "affects male fertility," and "GM will cause crop extinction " . According to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, there has not been a single confirmed safety issue since the commercialization of GM in 1996. This speaks volumes about the lack of public awareness of GM technology, which has even created a rumor dynamic.
Although we cannot be 100% sure that GM technology is really safe, we should guide the public to understand GM technology correctly, instead of following the clouds. We can thus see the importance of public education, which is very urgent and requires the joint efforts of iGEMers! In this regard, Prof. Qin Yuan has also strongly suggested that we should build a bridge of dialogue with the public.
In this module, we introduce synthetic biology, microorganisms, transgenic technology, energy and environment, and their development trends and applications to the public through several lectures, media platforms, and popular science books, etc., so as to build bridges between science and the public. The lecture and streaming media mainly covered high school and college students, while the popular science books covered almost all groups, using humorous and interesting language to convey science to the public.
In this series of educational activities, the large scale of participants and the wide range of audiences have achieved excellent results that we did not expect. The purpose of public education is not only to let more people know about the scientific content of our projects, but also to build a social atmosphere of "science" , which has a positive impact on the promotion of human scientific activities.

Introduction: Presentations of popular science is our most frequently conducted activity, in which almost every online presentation of popular science has hundreds of participants, including high school students, college students, university professors, and so on. They have a certain level of scientific literacy and a variety of background knowledge, which is a good facilitator for our multidimensional communication. As the future leaders of science and technology, we believe it is necessary and meaningful to disseminate scientific knowledge to them and help them understand synthetic biology as a cutting-edge discipline. Of course, to ensure the quality and interaction of the presentations, we choose to use Chinese in most cases.

iGEM's Three-School Joint Presentation of Popular Science

At the beginning of October this year, the joint presentations of popular science of the three universities, led by CHINA-FAFU and joined by SCAU-CHINA and BUCT-CHINA, were a great success. The conference was attended by more than 300 people online, and the two-hour presentation allowed us to fully engage in a dialogue with the public.
The theme of this presentation of popular science was "Under the microcosmic, above the life", taking microorganisms as the starting point, explaining the development of microorganisms, practical applications, transitioning to synthetic biology technology and transgenic technology, and finally transitioning to the projects of each of the three teams. In particular, we gave a detailed introduction to transgenic technology and opened a module on disinformation to counteract social rumors with scientific words!
Dialogue with people with a common knowledge background improved our communication efficiency, and the interaction of the audience was very positive. Of course, we also gave students with no background in biology the opportunity to learn about microorganisms, a group that is closely related to us, and synthetic biology, a cutting-edge subject. border-bottom-right-radius After the presentation of popular science, many people said that it was a very exciting and interesting presentation of popular science. You can experience the preparation of our online presentation in the video below, and a replay of the presentation can be viewed at the link below.

University Student Exchange

In late April of this year, we held a unique offline communication session on campus, targeting the university community. The presentation of popular science took synthetic biology as the starting point, introducing the composition, history and application of the discipline, as well as the current environmental and energy issues. The whole process went very smoothly and the audience watched the whole presentation with great attention, as this face-to-face communication was a scientific experience that further integrated bioscience into everyone's life. This face-to-face communication was a scientific experience that further integrated bioscience into everyone's life. Because of the smooth running of this presentation, it also laid a pillar of confidence for our team's next educational activities.

Off-Line Meeting with High School Students
In March of this year, we contacted the No. 1 Middle School in Jiyuan, Henan Province, and with the permission of the school, we conducted an offline communication session for high school students. The topic of this popularization was synthetic biology and microorganisms. We introduced the concept of synthetic biology, its development history and applications, and the powerful role of microbial community in synthetic biology from the starting point of synthetic biology. Considering that their professional knowledge is not so rich and deep, we tried to introduce them in a more general language. For example, when we explained that synthetic biology is to generate new genes by building parts, we said "Each gene part is like a block, and the process of building new genes is like building blocks, each building block is a small part, and the big house that we finally change into is the resulting gene fragment."
This activity was very interesting for everyone, probably because it was the first time they were exposed to this form of presentation of popular science as high school students, they were very motivated and often asked some very puzzling but very interesting questions. For example, they would ask, "When you look at microalgae with a microscope, does it run so fast that you can't see it clearly?" and "When you construct gene fragments, do you use very small tweezers or something like that?" Of course, we also gave professional and easy-to-understand answers.
All in all, this presentation of popular science brought fun and also brought bioscience into the hearts of all the students, and it was clear from the positive interaction that they were really interested in this area, and some of them even said they wanted to work in bioscience in the future. Through this presentation, we planted the idea of science in the hearts of the students who are not yet in college.
Online Meeting with High School Students
In August of this year, we held an online seminar at Meiling Middle School in Yongchun, Fujian Province, with nearly 200 participants. The topic of this presentation was synthetic biology and genetic engineering technology, and as before, we chose to use more understandable language. Again, this was the first time that most of them had been exposed to online science presentations, especially touch with students from universities, which made them curious. Unlike previous offline high school student sessions, they were able to comment and ask questions at any time in the comments section, which kept sliding upwards, and the interaction was quite positive! After the meeting, the principal of the school expressed his support and affirmation of our presentation.


Introduction:The media is the easiest and fastest way for us to reach the public. We have opened our own social accounts on WeChat, BiliBili and Tik Tok to introduct synthetic biology, transgenic technology, microorganisms and ethics, and we have placed our presentation videos on the media, which have received good reviews in society. We are very pleased to be able to quickly communicate science to the public through the media.
WeChat Public.
WeChat is one of the commonly used is social platforms, just like Facebook, Twitter, etc., and is a common way for companies and universities to promote themselves to the public. Both children and the elderly have the habit of using WeChat, and this age group and audience range is still expanding. Therefore the team borrowed the characteristics of WeChat's quickness and wide audience to open WeChat public number to popularize biological knowledge to the public, and to show the team's dynamic, progress and so on. It is also a way for the iGEM team to keep each other informed of the team's activities.
Considering the wide audience, many of whom have no biology background, we try to use common language in the introduction. The tweets introduced molecular biology, CRISPR-cas9 and synthetic biology, explaining the present trends, future applications and ethics of gene technology, etc. A number of people have left comments on our backend, saying that the tweets are very interesting and easy to understand.
BiliBili and Tik Tok
We have always wanted to spread our project through modern streaming media, and with the prevalence of COVID-19 "no-touch" science outreach is a worthy option. BiliBIli and Tik Tok are platforms often used by teenagers, and Tik Tok also has a large middle-aged and older audience, and BiliBIli has a huge presence in China, with many "techie" users who often share academic knowledge. We think that these two media are very good ways to communicate our knowledge of synthetic biology to various groups. We put our project introduction video and presentation video on these two platforms and received a good response.

Popular Science books

The science book was the longest preparation time and the biggest workload for us. It took up to 6 months of preparation, and the writers and drawers kept communicating day and night to present this wonderful work. Of course, it was partially supported by Prof. Qin Yuan and this achievement was strongly affirmed by Prof. Chao Zhao. They thought it was a relatively new approach for the competition team and required a lot of our efforts to complete.
Although the workload of a popular science book is high, it is very rewarding, which is one of the reasons why we have been able to keep going. We aim to deliver biological knowledge to the public through science books with interesting animations, striking pictures and humorous language, and we try to use pictures to the extent that they can help people understand the technical principles, such as the mechanism of action of Bt insect-resistant cotton, how to transfer the target gene, etc., because the visual delivery through pictures is more attractive to people's eyes [1].
Considering the wide audience and the fact that many people do not have extensive background knowledge in biology, we tried not to introduce overly technical terms and to help people understand by analogy. The book incorporates our project, mentioning energy sources, climate change, the development and application of synthetic biology and transgenic technologies, and the various uses of microalgae, among others. When we posted the book on social media, it was well received by the community, and the general consensus was that the content was not about what is commonly known, but rather about things that are relevant to our lives but not generally known. Here are the chapters of our popular science book.
In fact, this book can be used not only as a popular science book, but also as a tool for teachers in the teaching process, a good helper in family education, and a propaganda book in the community, which can help people understand the current situation of environment and energy, build up the awareness of protecting the environment, understand how synthetic biology and genetic modification can actually create more value for the world, and understand them from a scientific perspective . It is also important to understand how microalgae, an organism that can influence the future of mankind, can positively influence climate change and other unique "skills".
In short, this book is very versatile and has a wide range of knowledge for all ages, and the response from the audience has been very positive. You can view or download our popular science books online in the section below.

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