Radio Interview

fig. 1: Birte Hollmann and Boas Pucker got interviewed while they were working at the sterile bench.

A freelancing journalist, working for the WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) heard of the iGEM Team Bielefeld-CeBiTec and came to the CeBiTec in order to interview us about the work in the lab. The WDR is of the biggest radio stations for western Germany as shown in the table on the left side.

tab. 1: Range of WDR broadcast (WDR)
2014/II [%]2014/I [%]
Funkhaus Europa1,10,9
whole WDR53,653,9
radio NRW32,631,7
whole Radio77,776,9

At the moment he is working on a ready coverage with the topic "Leben leben" (living life). The coverage is divided into four parts. One of the parts deals with biotechnology for which he visited us. First he interviewed some of our team members about our work in the lab and about us. Then we explained to him a traditional work flow for synthetic biology and executed some experiments. He recorded the sounds of different machines while they were running, the sounds of the laboratory atmosphere and quotes from our team members. It was a great challenge to reduce the daily work in a way that everyone listening to the radio will understand the procedures. We learned a lot because during the study we never had to explain what we know in such a simple way.
Until October he will finish his work and the four topics will be broadcasted in the radio. It will be very interesting to hear the interview about our own work.

Interview on iGEM

fig. 2: Ana Dias, Daan Berbers, and Sven van Ewijk

On Friday the 10th of October we did an interview on responsible research, innovation and the iGEM competition. A team of students arranges interviews with students, supervisors and other members of the iGEM community in cooperation with the Rathenau Instituut. We got interviewed by Ana Dias, Daan Berbers, and Sven van Ewijk. They are studying management, policy analysis and entrepreneurship in a masters programme at the Vrije university in Amsterdam.
First of all we talked about who we are. We spoke about our team and about how we got to our project. Then we were asked with whom we talked already about our project and about biosafety aspects as well as ethical and theological aspects.
A big part of the interview was about what we think of the policy and practice part of the project. We spoke about what we have done so far. A very interesting question was what we personally think is the best way to do policy and practices. In our opinion it is easy to do surveys but how many people will take their time to answer the survey? Besides it is often done to talk to people in the city by approaching them. But we think that they will forget what they heard immediatly. In our opinion it is a much greater way to set up a stand in the city and present something interesting. If somebody comes to you because he or she sees something new or interesting he will remember what he or she have seen hours after. This is what we experienced during our stand at the NRW day. Our experiments and the microscopy which we presented with a beamer where so fascinating that many people came on their own to see what we are doing. They talked to us and they learend a lot as we did too. There were some school teachers asking for our experiment protocols to do experiments in the school. What could be a better way to spread information about biology?
Finally the request was to give an advice for any further participant for iGEM. We think that the best advice for participating at iGEM is to think of something new. Do research in the newspaper and online about everything new, brainstorm as much as possible and try to make a project about it. That is what we did. So for example we were thinking about a project with toads that can sense earthquakes. We found a lot of interesting reasons for this phenomenon which includes the full moon or traces of arsen in the water which could be act as a trigger signal. It is a lot of fun to make inquiries and to consider something crazy.
We want to thank Ana, Daan and Sven for the interview and hope that it will help to get new insights into the iGEM competititon.