What are Human Practices?
Human practices are an important part of an iGEM project as they represent how our project can impact the society but also how society can have an impact on the development of the project. There are many dimensions to human practices, in fact inventing a project involving synthetic biology can arise many questions and that’s why when participating to the iGEM competition it is important to raise awareness among the population about synthetic biology, this is the part called “Education and Public Engagement”.
In the context of our project it is important to raise awareness among the society about the impact of cigarette butts pollution. In fact, it is one the most toxic pollutant and it takes more than ten years to degrade in the environment. Also, only one cigarette butt can pollute up to 500L of water.
Thus, we decided to set up different actions and the first one is a survey about the habit of smokers and their knowledge about the pollution produced by the cigarette butt. From the first results we obtained it is clear that the population is not enough educated about that subject.
You can find here the link to the survey if you want to help us develop our awareness actions in the population.
We also participated to a waste collection organized by the surfrider foundation on the 24th of March in the streets of Paris. This was a real opportunity for our team to attend that event, we had the chance to meet interesting people and associations that fight against the pollution produced by cigarette butts. During that event, 280 volunteers were present and they collected 56 000 cigarette in 1h30. These huge amount of cigarette butts collected shows the urgent need for setting up actions for that problem.
We want to organize
Education and Public engagement
Education and public engagement aims to popularize synthetic biology and the iGEM competition to the larger public. This new science can rise many suspicions and questions, this is why we need to explain to the population how it works and its crucial use in research and everyday life.
In order to do that, we plan to popularize synthetic biology in high-school. By doing that, we want to teach the students the biological functionment behind synthetic biology and get rid of few stereotypes about that science.