For several years now, the five Parisian teams (Evry Paris-Saclay, Ionis_Paris, Paris_Bettencourt, Sorbonne_U_Paris and our team GO Paris-Saclay) have been working together on various projects. Even if 2020 was an exceptional year there was no question of stopping. From the very beginning, we started to think about different projects that we wanted to carry out together, and how to bring them to fruition. To do this, the Parisian teams joined together for different collaborations until we arrived at a partnership without really realising it. Because we had a lot of fun doing this together.
Newton said, "when two forces are joined, their effectiveness is doubled".
But imagine if there were 5 teams.
The Parisian MeetUp is a long standing tradition that started as a French teams’ MeetUp back in 2014, evolved last year as an European MeetUp, and this year, with the current sanitary conditions, we had to make it a virtual MeetUp that allowed us to open it into a worldwide MeetUp that allowed gathering of teams from all over the world.
After several brainstorming sessions started in early July with the 4 other Parisian teams (Evry Paris-Saclay, Ionis_Paris, Paris_Bettencourt, Sorbonne_U_Paris), we decided the most convenient dates for hosting the event would be from September 6th to 7th 2020. Two months of organization made the event possible. Each iGEM team manager was responsible for the coordination of her/ his team members in order to have a maximum of people and capacities during the two days of the Worldwide MeetUp.
Our team GO_Paris-Saclay was in-charge of the opening talk (for wich we created an ), a social event (an online Pictionary) and above all we were responsible for finding speakers. We have contacted dozens of potential speakers, mainly looking for people who can talk about synthetic biology in the real world of research and the applications that this field offers. However, we had many refusals and were very late to find our last speaker. And it is thanks to our joint action with that from the Paris_Bettencourt team that we finally managed to complete this task! We attended every event during the weekend, and we presided over Maher Ben Khaled's talk and the activities we had organised.
We were happy to offer different activities to participants. There were inspiring guest talks, workshops, team project presentations, a Bio-Entrepreneurship Hackathon held by After iGEM, and of course, fun social activities at the end of the day.
From this meeting, we sought to develop a partnership with other teams. Indeed, iGEM is a competition with a fertile ground to meet people of all ages and backgrounds through subjects that bring us together. These partnerships have allowed us to quench our thirst for encounters and exchanges with other teams. This was achieved in various ways (interview, meet-up, scientific popularization stand...) in different themes (HP, Science Education, Lab project...).
When the Grenoble-Alpes team proposed us to make a video presentation of our cities, projects and teams, we did not hesitate. We then managed to give the best overview of the Paris region, the most complete and demonstrative. We exchanged “know-how” and were able to learn from each other, to create the best possible video (take a look, click !)
On October 3rd and 4th, the Cité des sciences et de l'Industrie (Science and Industry museum) of Paris participated in the 29th edition of the National Science Festival “Fête de la Science”. During these two days, the programme included many hands-on experiments with more than thirty activities on offer.
Our team GO Paris-Saclay was the first one to contact with our host at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Valérie LEROUYER. After this initial contact, we extended the invitation to and decided to join forces with the other Parisian teams (Evry_Paris-Saclay, Ionis_Paris, Paris_Bettencourt, Sorbonne_U_Paris) in order to be present this weekend.
We had at our disposal three stands, two screens, and scientific equipment which allowed us to offer scientific activities to children and adults. Thanks to this event we had the opportunity to present our projects (by a poster or a video) and get feedback from scientific and non-scientific people. It was a really good way to introduce ourselves to the exercise of presentation.
During these two days, we passed the relay between teams in such a way that we were always two different teams on the stands. This plurality allowed us to be more efficient and above all to better adapt to the expectations of the public. Indeed, we had very different knowledge and backgrounds, not forgetting the fact that our iGEM projects were varied. This cohesion was a real way to interest the public according to each person's areas of interest, but it was also a way for us to learn more about our respective subjects and our ways of presenting them.
In addition to having been an instructive day for our project, we were able to get together (the 5 Parisian partner teams). Which was not easy with the current pandemic, we could only see each other through our computer cameras. It was a real pleasure to finally meet face to face (wearing a face cover of course).
These different collaborations allowed us to get to know each other humanly but also to discover each other's projects while popularizing science. These different projects have been carried out thanks to our different talents but above all thanks to our mutual help. None of this could have been possible alone.
And as we don't do things by halves, what better way to end this partnership than to write this text together. With this last initiative, .