When the fall comes, the landscapes that groove the road to the Galibier completely change colors.
Credits: Estelle Vincent
Credits: Estelle Vincent
Science has always raised many questions and issues along progress and new technologies’ development, and even more when science tackles synthetic biology. The thematics of these questions being ethical, philosophical, social or about safety, they have to be considered as importantly as scientific issues because what would be science without society and the questions it raises. Society changes over time and so does science! And as Edward Teller said, “the science of today is the technology of tomorrow”. The expectations of our society create new scientific needs, which will become in the near future tomorrow’s technologies. The thing is that these technologies have to be imagined in their real context to better understand the issues they raise. That being said, iGEM Grenoble-Alpes had and has at heart to think and reflect on these important questions, that they thought crucial to build a safe and sustainable project serving their society’s interest.
Organising a concert: Genetically Modified Music on November, the 3rd
Our very first cultural event took place at EVE, a university place dedicated to students’ events. We invited 5 local groups which are listed below, to promote themselves, defending their music in front of a 200 people crowd.
To further introduce our project, we had first of all to talk about innovation regarding the biological field. This is why we thought it was important to organise a “Cafe Science” event, which is quite a student thing: scientific discussions around coffee and food, what could be better than that?
In this context, Yahia Chebloune opened a very serious discussion about the therapeutic tracks concerning HIV. Eduard Ayuso, coming from Nantes, decided to introduce our public to gene therapy and viral vectors to target specifically one type of cells, a very nice way to present personalised medicine as well. Then, Francois Rousse brought different ideas with his field of study: mathematical biomimetics. It consists of finding the minima of time, weight, energy… thanks to computer and mathematics. In the end, gathered by food cravings, everybody talked about how these fields applied to our project. A rewarding night indeed!
There’s no age education, at FabLab presentation
One of the most complete FabLab in Grenoble is located near La Bastille, a famous place of our town. We had the chance to establish a partnership with this motivated team which shares our passion for innovation. On that day, we went to their place to present our project in front of 30 people working in different fields, such as music, videogames or design. We also opened a debate about diagnosis over the world to open our mind about health inequalities and how we can facilitate medicine and diagnosis access to poor people.
UGA c’est party!
As our university welcomes more than 45,000 students each year, we were certain that a lot of people would be interested by iGEM and synthetic biology as well. UGA c’est party is the starting point of the university year and has welcomed 15,000 people this year. We had the opportunity to set up an exhibition stand that allowed us to present our project and the contest more generally. We also provided informations to students, teachers and administrators. This initiative permitted to inform non-scientific people about a field they had no idea it existed: synthetic biology.
On this French national event, scientific popularization was put under the spotlights. This year’s topic was “How can we change the preconceived ideas in science?”. We had the chance to welcome more people than one can count, from many different backgrounds. More than just hosting a stand, the team dealt with primary and high-school students who came to learn more about synthetic biology and our project during their school time. We discussed on how to use synthetic biology to diagnose cholera, as well as GMO’s and in what domain they are mainly used. We tried to highlight how important it was to sharpen our mind towards the technological applications of scientific progress. We noticed university students were sometimes more interested in the iGEM competition than our project: it seems like Grenoble will be represented in next year’s competition.
Have a look at our Notebook page for further informations on events we hosted and/or participated to and most importantly, have a look at our Integrated Human Practices page!