Human Practices SummaryBackground Over the past decade, sharing science-based news articles online has become common practice. However, due to heavy scientific jargon, understanding and interpreting these articles can be challenging. Accordingly, along with the rise of “fake news”, the Human Practices Team has decided to promote scientific literacy and communication alongside our research. Our Blog Our main human practices initiative was partnering with PLoS Journals to establish the Think of the PLoSibilities blog. We wanted to help extend the reach of PLoS articles by writing engaging, scientifically-accessible summaries for the general public. We recognized that clear lay science writing is key to engaging the general public and promoting science literacy. In the future, we hope to help other iGEM teams establish their own blogs. This way there will be a network of blogs under the PLoS banner all working to promote science literacy. For more details, please refer to the public engagement page. Survey We surveyed more than 250 people from diverse educational and cultural backgrounds to assess comfort in interpreting and sharing science-based news. These results helped us formulate questions to discuss with our panel of experts, including professional science communicators, science professors, students, and members of the general public. We then published a “how-to” infographic, inspired by our survey and interview results, about reading science-based news. For more details, please refer to the science communication page. Outreach and Education In addition to our science communication efforts, we advocated for scientific literacy in the Halifax community. A huge part of our work was geared towards getting young children and students engaged in science. We hosted several workshops collaborating with SHAD Valley, SuperNOVA summer camps at Dalhousie University, and the Discovery Centre. For each session, we devised simple scientific experiments that equipped participants with new laboratory techniques and ended with insightful discussions. For more details, please refer to the public engagement page. Integrated Human Practices Finally, we integrated science communication and science literary into our overall design. We talked with experts to see how we could improve/ develop our project, we explored the safety of our project, and we met with a local fermentation company, BioVectra, to discuss how to commercialize our idea. Furthermore, we put our science communication skills to the test and practiced presenting our project to different audiences. For more details, please refer to the integrated and gold page.
Integrated Human Practices