For the communication portion of our project, we wanted to explore varying methods of communicating in order to reach as many people as possible. We therefore delved into the world of podcasts, writing blog posts and having in person conversation on science in the context of our education project.
Our blog: The Transcriptome
We started by adopting and reinventing The Transcriptome - a blog born from the collaboration between last year’s UNIL iGEM team and Chalmers-Gothenburg iGEM team, in Sweden. The purpose of the blog is to share knowledge about science and biology with a wide audience - this concept enthused us and we could not in good conscience abandon The Transcriptome. We therefore built on our predecessors legacy by remodeling the blog and adding articles each week, in collaboration with this year's Chalmers-Gothenburg iGEM team.
The goal of this blog is to make science and biology more available to a non-expert audience. We therefore wrote our article in such a way that they do not necessitate more than high school knowledge at maximum. Taking advantage of the fact members of our teams speak many different languages, we did not only write our articles in English, but translated them in 11 languages to make the texts accessible to as many people as possible. To showcase the diversity in science and introduce our readers to novel topics, we wrote on subjects ranging from maths to the ecology of bats !
Podcast: Les OGMs en Suisse
To explore an auditive communication method, we created a podcast in collaboration with the EPFL team. Our aim for this podcast was to share scientific information on GMOs in an accessible format, helping our audience develop informed opinions on the topic. To gather the best quality information for our listeners, we interviewed experts working in the field of GMO research or governmental to create 4 episodes. Our first episode established the foundations of GMO use in general, with professor Denis Duboule of EPFL as our guest. In the second episode, Anne Gabrielle Wüst Saucy from the Federal Environment Office explained the Swiss laws and regulations concerning GMOs. The third episode was focused on the impact of GMO’s on health, which was discussed by Christian Fankhauser, professor at the University of Lausanne. In our final episode, Valérie Kottman, from the Agroscope (the Swiss center for agriculture, nutrition and environment research) discussed the use of GMOs in agriculture.
The audio quality of our podcast was magnificently improved with the help of Frequence Banane, our UNIL-EPFL campus’s radio. They graciously lent us their recording studio to record our podcast episodes, then broadcasted them on their Spotify. We advertised our podcast episodes on our instagram stories, which are closely followed by many of our fellow students and collaborators from our university.
Click here to access our podcast.
Communication in the Context of Education
In the context of the education portion of our project Education, we created a weekend long event for high school students in order to share our love and knowledge of synthetic biology. In the context of this weekend, we communicated one on one with the students to discuss the concepts as equals, allowing them to formulate their own opinions and ideas with the notions we brought forth. Although we reached less people by using this method of communication, we influenced the lives of our students in a very significant manner. The knowledge and opinions we helped nurture during our educational weekend can also allow our students to better communicate about synthetic biology to the people around them, in turn broadening our reach.