In Tuebingen, there is a strong green/ecological movement. This leads to general scepticism against bioscientific research. Therefore we wanted to inform Tuebingen's population about genetic engineering by participating in the SynBioDay. The SynBioDay is an annual activity by the German iGEM teams where we try to explain the pros and cons of synthetic biology to the general public.

On a sunny Saturday morning, we pitched our tent at Tuebingen's market place in the historic centre. The booth was decorated with posters about synthetic biology and our current project. Additionally we offered little sweets to attract bypassers.

Our aim was to convey basic knowledge about DNA (“What happens when I eat DNA?”, “What is a gene?”), to give information about methods used in molecular biology, and to discuss the pros and cons of genetic engineering.

In order to achieve these aims, we had prepared a little quiz about DNA and molecular biology. Many bypassers stopped at our booth, participated in the quiz, and asked questions about synthetic biology or our project. Interested people came with a broad variety of background knowledge: Our booth was visited by an emeritus physics professor, a biology student but also people with no scientific background. Largely, our project was seen positive, as people appreciate a better blood supply for transfusion, even if this is achieved by using genetic engineering.

Special attention was paid to animal experiments; also there were critical questions concerning the release of genetically modified organism to the environment. We could assure the people that we have only used genetically modified bacteria and that precautionary measures were taken to avoid bacteria escaping our lab.

All in all, we can say that the SynBioDay was a success and we hope that we could share some knowledge with the general public in order to better inform them about synthetic biology.