The ideas contained within the domain of policy and practices are absolutely fundamental to the iGEM vision. This is science for the global public good; open, accessible, international, non-profit, and for social and environmental benefit. Creating a project that is both feasible and socially useful is essential, and so is researching, experimenting and implementing it in a safe and ethical fashion. Public engagement is also an essential component of the human practices effort. Educating people about synthetic biology helps to allay fears that it is some horrible government conspiracy to breed battle-ready bunny rabbits, allowing the advantages made possible by established synthetic-biological advances to be better reaped by society. It is not some illicit science conducted underground in secretive labs, but a transparent endeavour available for exploration by undergraduate students, even those with zero experience in the biological sciences. Most importantly, we remembered at all times that proper relaxation and good humour is essential to a healthy mind and body, and to resisting stress and other such unforgiving malignancies.

To these ends, we undertook a survey , whose recipients included members of other iGEM teams, members of the public, and members of our university community (staff, student and faculty). We adapted our project given the considerations mentioned above, and given the responses we received to said survey. We conducted outreach , including hosting an A-level student in the lab for a number of weeks. We constantly assessed our safety , looking at measures employed by our institution to avoid accident, the bodies that exist here to maintain proper scrutiny of experimental work and how to contact them in the event of a problem, and whether any of the substances of life forms which we were so gleefully reconstituting posed any danger to ourselves or the outside world. Finally, we thought about the potential for our replicon, the subject of so much work, to be exploited and misused by those with a scurrilous agenda, and particularly looked at how it might be hijacked for use as a bioweapon , including some discussion of the history of biological warfare.

Please indulge yourself in these investigations using the secondary navigation bar above, and remember, the cake is a lie .