Our collaboration with the iGEM 2021 team from The University of Manchester started after the iGEM UK meet up, which took place on June 27th via Zoom. During their presentation, they mentioned that as a part of their education and outreach programme they were going to organize a podcast called “The Living Revolution” where each episode would cover different topics within synthetic biology. Our team was very keen on participating in their podcast and reached out to them. We had our first joint meeting on July 5th discussing the theme of our episode, which would be about the use of synthetic biology techniques used in the cosmetics industry and the positive impacts of that on the environment. We also planned to further discuss our project and what we aimed to do on the human practice side. Throughout the week leading up to the recording, we researched the topics and made a brief outline of the episode in terms of what questions would be asked. On July 21st, we met up on Zoom and recorded the episode. The episode was called “Protecting our oceans” and was released on the 17th of august.
By collaborating with Manchester, we were able to research more into the cosmetic and synthetic biology industry and propagate our project idea to a wider audience, while helping Manchester make knowledge about synthetic biology more widespread. Through this collaboration, we gained a greater insight into the role and importance of podcasts in science communication and science communication in general. Overall, our collaboration was a highly useful experience, and we would be very glad to collaborate with them again in the future.
In the middle of June, we reached out to the iGEM team of the University of New South Wales in Australia, as they like us were a phase 2 project and had a focus on protecting corals and preventing coral bleaching. We had a brief but favourable meeting with them on the 6th of August and decided that our area of collaboration would be our surveys. We both were conducting surveys regarding the public’s knowledge about coral bleaching and decided to share each other’s surveys so that both teams would be able to gain data internationally. They also showed us their survey and what type of questions they included which gave us a grasp of potential questions that we could incorporate into our survey as well. Through our collaboration, we, therefore, gained more international data from our survey which would help us to determine how desirable Shinescreen as a product and solution would be.