Teams are required to help advance the social acceptance of synthetic biology amongst their peers and community. You can conduct surveys, hold open synbio workshops, talk to your local government to promote science, create informational material in your country's language, and more!

Our team will be competing for the award on “Best Advance in Human Practices.” Would iGEM please provide examples of good human practices work?

iGEM has recognized a wide range of human practices work through formal awards and informal shout outs. In 2009 and 2010, awards went to Imperial College London for projects that integrated systematic analysis of risks and risk perception with technical work to address these risks through the re-design of organisms; and to the University of Paris for anthropological work that fostered team engagement with ethical issues. In 2009, shout outs went to PKU Beijing’s DIYBio research including a study on delivery of biological materials to home addresses in Beijing; Valencia’s portfolio of previous work on human practices; and Edinburgh’s multifaceted review of risks and regulations in the EU and US. In 2010, shout outs went to Art Sciences Bangalore’s artistic exploration of an ecology in which synthetic and wild-type organisms interact; and Weimar-Heidelberg Arts imaginative trip to a synthetic supermarket of the future. Many other iGEM teams also deserved praise for imaginative and accomplished work on human practices.

What might our team consider in choosing an approach to Human Practices?

As highlighted above, iGEM values thoughtful, well-designed and innovative approaches to Human Practices, which can take a diversity of forms. Below are some examples of questions on which your team might reflect in designing your approach.

How does it relate to your project?

  • Why do you want to do it?
  • Does it help us think about, and act differently in, the practice of synthetic biology? How?
  • How will you communicate this (on your wiki, in your presentation, to others etc)?

What can your team do?

  • Conduct surveys.
  • Have open dialogs and forums with the community.
  • Create material in your country's language.
  • Talk to your local government to be more open towards science.

Engage as much as you can with your community!