Public Engagement &
Synthetic biology is not well-known to the public, and there are various ethical problems to be solved through communication with the public. To this end, Team KUAS has opened a science booth or held seminars not only for the general public but also for those who are already interested in synthetic biology. Even in the coronavirus situation, Team KUAS has tried to create many opportunities for communication with society.
2020 Science Day
Synthetic biology is not yet familiar to the public. So, Team KUAS has made various efforts to make it easier to publicize synthetic biology. Our team opened an experiment booth on ‘2020 Science Day’ hosted by National Science Museum. This exposition was mainly aimed at teenagers who are not familiar with synthetic biology and we decided to help them understand the concepts of synthetic biology with a simple bio-brick board game. Participants could synthesize their own hypothetical organism by adjoining bio-bricks of their choice and could experience achievement of DIY Bio. In addition, we provided an introductory video clip about synthetic biology with bio brick examples. Participants could learn concepts of standardization and modularizing with our educational video. Our interaction with teenagers, we noticed that even a simple board game could get them spark their enthusiasm on a relatively unfamiliar subject.
Normally, this event is hosted offline but this year it was conducted online on account of the COVID-19 situation. Our board game kits and supplies were delivered to participants beforehand. Henceforth, participants were involved with our synthetic biology activity with instructions provided in the video clip. We received questions through e-mail and responded to them. After the COVID-19 pandemic, we are planning to visit schools which engaged in our online science day booth. Additionally, Team KUAS will communicate with them consistently through SNS channel with useful information.
SU salon seminar
Team KUAS is making great efforts to popularize synthetic biology by holding seminars not only for the general public but also for those who are already interested in synthetic biology. On Thursday, December 5, 2019, we gave a lecture at SU Salon, organized by TIDE Institute, on the subject of "synthetic biology and iGEM". ‘SingularityU Seoul chapter’ is a Korean Branch of the University of Singularity, a private start-up school located in Silicon Valley in the U.S., and is operated by TIDE Institute, a platform company that discovers and fosters entrepreneurs, makers, and innovators. The TIDE Institute hosts a networking event SU salon every quarter to promote innovative technologies to many people. We has been in contact with Bio lab Seoul, a subsidiary of TIDE Institute, since September 2019, and KUAS has been invited to the networking event as a keynote speaker. In this networking event, we shared our experiences in iGEM and talked about KUAS's 2019 project (Bioluminescent Tattoo for Stress detection), iGEM's winning team, impressive team, and the future of synthetic biology. After seminar, a total of 20 people participated in the survey, and 63% of the respondents said they were satisfied with the content of the lecture, and KUAS was also a meaningful place to communicate directly with the public. We thought that if we could have this kind of communication again in the future, we would like to secure more QnA time and talk more with the public to popularize synthetic biology.
Team KUAS is making great efforts to popularize synthetic biology by holding seminars not only for the general public but also for those who are already interested in synthetic biology.