iGEM EPFL 2018

European and Eurasian Meetup

The iGEM Meetups that we attended were a great opportunity to meet the iGEM Teams and Community both in Europe and Asia and learning about overcoming cultural barriers and sharing the spirit of science.

The iGEM European Meetup was our first opportunity to interact with the iGEM Community and other iGEMers and we could not be more excited to be there. It did not take long for us to start meeting teams, almost minutes from when we arrived, we put up our poster and the poster sessions began even before the event was scheduled to start. We were so excited to be in a space where everyone was so thrilled about their project and it was a great energy to start the conference off.

We attended insightful workshops that were organised by the various iGEM teams and organisations. Many of them we found useful and it was a great chance to view unique perspectives of the teams presenting, e.g. the “Online Public Engagement in Written Format” given by the iGEM Copenhagen team introduced us to the use of ‘Medium’ as a social platform and we entered a very fruitful discussion about the variety of social platforms we can use and the advantages and shortcomings of each of them. The workshop “Windows: The Neglected Child in Bioinformatics” was particularly useful for us as well, given that an important part of our project was bioinformatics-based. We were able to learn and discuss the guidelines of implementing bioinformatic software that helped us verify what we were doing, we elaborate on this in our Integrated Human Practices page.

The poster sessions had an intrinsic importance for us. The input we received about the poster was insightful for us to rethinking our design. It was a great chance to practice presenting our poster to other teams, professors and we had the privilege of presenting it to Will Right (iGEM) as well, in the process we learnt a lot about the flow of the poster and thought of ways we could improve the storytelling of our project through the poster.

It was a great experience overall, we learned a lot from the professors speaking who inspired us with their work, had fruitful discussions with other iGEM teams about each others projects and poster, learnt a lot about how we could improve our project and meet some very interesting people. A big thank you to iGEM LMU & TU Munich for organising the event! (The pretzels were amazing with the yogourt sauce!)

Eurasian Meetup

The iGEM Eurasian Meetup in Shenzhen, China organized by TU Delft and BGI college was a fantastic opportunity to meet other iGEM teams from all over the world in a friendly atmosphere. We were impressed both by the variety of different projects and the enthusiasm that the different members brought with them, and learned about overcoming cultural barriers and sharing the spirit of science.

There were multiple presentations from renowned scientists, as well as fun workshops and games to build team spirit and meet new people. One of the most important parts of the meetup for us was the poster session, where we were able to get important feedback on the first draft of our poster made available to public. Thanks to this we were able to change some aspects of the overall flow of the project story on the poster we are trying to convey and use a central element better suited to our project.

The project presentations were very engaging, and a welcomed first presentation for the different teams who were able to see the way more experienced teams present. The challenging questions asked about our projects allowed us to focus on the areas that were considered paramount, such as integrated human practices where we went great lengths to gain input from the various stakeholders.

To top it all off, we even won two prizes, the prize for Best Engagement at the venue as well as the prize for Best Poster. We would like to thank all the people who participated and especially TU Delft’s iGEM team and BGI college for organizing the event, and hope that this meetup keeps on growing.