Members of BosLab had a tremendous opportunity to take part in two events focused on Public Engagement in Science (PES) at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference held in Boston last week, both of which were co-hosted by the Museum of Science.
Jennifer Clifford and Angela Kaczmarczyk joined other volunteer scientists at a reception on February 19 in facilitating synthetic biology activities from the most recent Building with Biology program. Scientists in attendance had varied interests including research, STEM education, science outreach, and science policy. It was meaningful (and fun!) to share perspectives on the role of synthetic biology with people representing so many scientific interests.
Jennifer, Angela, and Museum of Science program manager, David Sittenfeld at the AAAS PES reception.
On February 20, Francis Lee and Angela Kaczmarczyk participated in a project meeting aimed toward setting the 2017 agenda for Multi-Site Public Engagement with Science (MSPES), including Building with Biology. Participants in this meeting included synthetic biologists, educators (from museums and other institutions), and AAAS organizers. The goals of this meeting included presenting and discussing outcomes from the 2016 Building with Biology events held across the United States, providing recommendations for future directions for PES in general, and discussing ideas for future PES activities to develop for synthetic biology. Some of the future synthetic biology-related topics participants were interested in ranged from the use of gene-drives in conservation biology to exploring the microbiome.
A huge ‘Thank you!’ to organizers Kayla Berry and David Sittenfeld of the Museum of Science for organizing these events and inviting us to participate. See you next year!