Team:UCopenhagen/Public Engagement

Public Engagement

In our effort to engage more people in synthetic biology we have attend and organized some different events.

Culture Night at Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen

Together with the DTU team we have been participating in the "Culture Night" in Copenhagen at an event held by the Tycho Brahe Planetarium.

The Culture Night in Copenhagen is an annual event taking place on the night when the schools begin their autumn break. On the Culture Night all the museums, governmental buildings, institutions, stores and much more is open for the public until midnight offering different events, talks, concerts etc. You can read more about the culture night here.

The Tycho Brahe Planetarium is Denmark's most advanced center for popularizing astronomy and space research and promoting knowledge on natural science. On the culture night, the planetarium is open until midnight and has 4000-6000 visitors in total. You can read more about the Tycho Brahe Planetarium here.

In collaboration with the DTU team we had a stand at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium on Culture Night. The aim was to have a two-way dialogue with children, youngsters and grown ups about the challenges of colonizing Mars and how synthetic biology could help this development. We had a lot of different activities, for instance children could play with clay and build a house or an alien on Mars' surface or try to plate petri dishes with bacteria to get an idea of how you work in a lab. In addition we had inoculated some petri dishes with bacteria from every day objects such as the seat of a toilet and the front screen of a phone to start discussion on bacteria and biosafety with perspective to space exploration. We also brought some tobacco plants grown at the university, and showed people how we could inject agrobacterium into the leaves and thereby change the plants DNA. We did of course only inject water at the event, but it lead to many interesting conversations about DNA and how bacteria acts.

When we arranged the event we were focusing on, that there should be something to do for both children and adults. Our effort were rewarded and we talked, discussed and were wondering, about the colonization of Mars, the nature of bacteria and implications of using GMO, with people all night long.


Figure 1 Pictures from Culture Night at Tycho Brahe Planetarium.


We also Participated in the danish event Tech BBQ, a two-day international tech-startup summit by and for the startup community. We had a stand at the Tech BBQ and discussed our idea and project with a lot of people.

Tech BBQ

Figure 2 Frida and Selma at TechBBQ

Presenting at a school in Thailand

Max Natthawut A. went to Thailand and visited his old high school, Mahidol Wittayanusorn School. He presented our iGEM project to his lovely biology teachers. They were impressed by our work. It was actually the first time they heard about iGEM, even though every student (Max included back in the day) has to do a science project as a part of the school curriculum. It was unfortunate that he could not meet any students as they were doing exams. Anyway, we see the potential to help them form iGEM teams in the future.

Presenting in Thailand

Figure 3 Max in front of Mahidol Wittayanusorn School og together with one of his teachers.