As fellow researchers, it’s our responsibility to build bridges between science and society. In the early stage of our project, we find there is still much misunderstanding about GMOs . It’s a pity that most of them don’t know if their dogs were suffering from IBD. It’s high time for us to promote people’s cognition about synthetic biology. The goals of our job can be listed as followed:
- Focus on education for special group
- achieve mutual communication
- Do some jobs on volunteer
- Spark people’s thinking about synthetic biology
“Bioethics” is a discipline that systematically studies human behavior in life science according to moral values and principles. The ethical questions raised by the development of contemporary life sciences never need answers but ongoing thinking. A platform for public’s idea-exchanging is required, so a Bioethics Week Series was held by us.
Knowledge Breadth : At the very beginning, iGEM team members launched a series of tweets on the WeChat Public Platform, including "Safety and Security| iGEM and Bioethics" ,"New Perspectives| Book Sharing 《Silent Spring》" and so on. Our goal is to interpret bioethics from different dimensions for the public.
Figure 1. "Ten Questions game” and articles about Bioethics
Knowledge Input : iGEMers succeeded in getting more people involved in bioethics science activities by online promotion. The five consecutive days of "Ten Questions for Try” column cumulative answer volume of more than 300 times, with participants majoring in natural sciences, humanities and social sciences. We were not satisfied with the one-way output. In order to learn more about the public's ideas, we set up a stall to exchange with students from various subject backgrounds and get a lot of feedback and suggestions.
Figure 2. Sweeping QR code to answer questions
Figure 3. communicating bioethics knowledge with international students
Figure 4. special gifts for participants
The battle of ideas: Later, the iGEM team wanted to stimulate more discussion in a "debate-driven" way. Therefore, we invited the HUST-iGEM team(Team:HUST-China/Collaborations - 2021.igem.org )to jointly organize a Bioethics Debate Competition. And invited teams for XHD(XHD-Wuhan-A-China /Collaborations - 2021.igem.org; XHD-Wuhan-B-China /Collaborations - 2021.igem.org)to the new channel as exchange guests. The debaters come from different subjects. Debater also included iGEMer. During the public judging session, more than 100 guests voted online for the "Best Debater", "Best Perspective Award" and "Best Segment Hand".
Figure 5. the debate
Figure 6. “The most popular Punster” certificate
THE VOLUNTEER ACTION OF iGEM
Medical Assistance for Pet
Francis established World Animal Day in order to advocate the idea of "thanking the animals who give love to humanity”. It’s our responsibility to do something for animals. In the early survey, we learned that many pet people are freshmen, so we cooperated with some related department to conduct a Medical Assistance for Pet. We introduced common intestinal disease and our project to participants. There was Professional teachers offering advice about pet arise.
Figure 7. iGEMer interacts with dogs
Figure 8. iGEMer interacts with dogs
Figure 9. iGEMer describes common pet intestinal diseases
Public Service Radio on Himalayan Radio
Since our project focuses on pet enteritis, we thought of a different branch of pet dogs——the guide dogs. For people with visual impairment, the existence of guide dogs has brought convenience to their lives to a large extent. Guide dogs are their working partners, friends and even family members. In order to make our project better serve the society, we thought of setting up a public radio station to popularize the knowledge of guide dogs and introduce some basic contents of synthetic biology to this group, so that this group with visual impairment can also understand the field of synthetic biology. After an extensive search for information, We know that Himalaya Radio has a special authentication function for people with disabilities. After authentication, people can transmit instructions by voice and retrieve the content they are interested in. Therefore, we have decided to set up our radio station on the public platform of Himalaya Radio. At the same time, we also got in touch with Wuhan Blind School. We introduced and demonstrated our radio station to them, and put our public welfare radio station into public education and public welfare undertakings.
Figure 10. the home of our public platform of Himalaya Radio
CULTIVATE THE RESERVE TALENTS IN THE FIELD OF SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
1.Across age span
HZAU-iGEM has been competing in iGEM for up to nine years. During this period, the A110 laboratory witnesses the germination of many ideas into the realization. iGEMer in different sessions also reaps their own growth. Even some iGEMers continued to work in synthetic biology during their PhDs. It’s high time for us to have a discussion with history. So at the freshman admissions event, we planned a sharing session called “HZA-iGEM Gold Award Tour” with previous iGEMers ——Wenqi Huang and Weitong Guo.(https://2017.igem.org/Team:HZAU-China/Team)
Figure 11. Project sharing online
Figure 12. The prepared topic for communicating with previous iGEMer
2.provide pracitice chance
"How does the world affect us, and how do we affect the world?" We are always thinking and practicing this question. In March 2021, we went to Wuhan 14th Middle School to give a course of Synthetic Biology and discuss with them about the margins and future of biology. Most of them would attend the college entrance exam and then decide what to major in college a year later. So apart from sharing our project design, we also give a course of Synthetic Biology and discuss with them about the margins and future of biology form our perspective. It’s surprise that most of them showed enthusiasm about iGEM. Some of them even write letters to talk with us about our subject design and how to be iGEMer. With microorganism experiment skill and laboratory, we assisted Mr. Chen Yi in completing the construction of SETM curriculum design application examples with "expanding experiments in the cultivation and application of microorganisms", which was published in the China journal 《Middle School Biology》.
Figure 13. Giving a lesson for high school students
In China, Wechat public accounts are widely used by media and enterprises as a tool to increase publicity, by sending daily articles to fans who follow the account. We know online media platform can make both social research more comprehensive and benefits the public more widely. We launched the "IBD Popular Science", "Teammate Talk" and other columns on the WeChat public platform so that the public can learn more about synthetic biology and our project. This year, we gained about 528 followers.
Figure 14. home of WeChat Public Platform
We have also participated in a Five-team alliance Popular Science Activity to share our project and synthetic biology.
Figure 15. Project sharing online
Chen Yi. Preliminary study on high school biology activity class teaching cases under the STEM education concept——Take the extended experiment of "the cultivation and application of microorganisms" as an example [J]. Middle School Biology, 37(5):3.