Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology (UC San Francisco)
Our Center has organized or participated in several public outreach events. These include:
Capitol Hill Day. On September 21, 2011, Center members advocated for science funding during the Coalition for the Life Sciences ‘Capitol Hill Day’. They teamed up with scientists from UCLA as part of a California delegation, visiting the Washington DC offices of Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Representatives Adam Schiff, Anna Eshoo, and Xavier Becerra, as well as Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The team thanked the Senators and Representatives for their support of scientific research and asked them to continue funding NIH and NSF at the highest possible levels.
Bay Area Science Festival. Our Center collaborated with UC Berkeley SynBERC to create an interactive booth titled “Synthetic Biology: Making Biology Easier to Engineer.” This booth was displayed at the first annual Bay Area Science Festival’s Discovery Days event held at AT&T Park on November 6, 2011. The exhibit, which included a video display, informational poster, and a hands-on activity, was designed to teach children of all ages about the field of synthetic biology. The design and display of the booth involved graduate student and undergraduate volunteers who worked throughout the day to engage attendees and promote synthetic biology. Ours was one of 170 exhibits at the event, which was attended by over 21,000 people. The Bay Area Science Festival consisted of more than 100 events held over a week in November and was primarily organized by UCSF. The Center sponsored UCSF iGEM program was highlighted during press events held leading up to the festival, including being recognized by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. Mayor Lee visited with the team in the lab, learned about their project, and remarked on the accomplishments of the UCSF iGEM program when he spoke to the press. Our Center plans to be involved in several more events with the Festival in the coming years.
Panel Discussion on Synthetic Biology. On December 14, 2011, we collaborated with Jay Keasling of UC Berkeley and scientific editors at CellPress to co-organize and host Synthetic Biology Lablinks meeting. More than 300 participants registered for this free symposium, which included a panel discussion on ‘Synthetic Biology: Goals, Aspirations, and Implications,’ also intended for the general public.
Public Lecture on ‘Science & Cooking’. The Center partnered with the departments of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology and Anesthesia at UCSF to organize and host a special Chauncey D. Leake Lecture on ‘Science & Cooking’ on April 2, 2012, presented by Professor David Weitz of Harvard University and Chef Corey Lee of San Francisco. The idea for this lecture series was inspired by the popular Harvard University science undergraduate course on ‘science & cooking: from haute cuisine to the science of soft matter’, pioneered by two Harvard physicists, David Weitz and Michael Brenner. This Center-organized public lecture at UCSF was attended by over 300 people and was highlighted in the San Francisco Chronicle blog post. The full lecture is also now available on YouTube.
Chicago Center for Systems Biology
Informal Science Education
Informal science education learning experiences are designed to increase interest, engagement, and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Informal learning happens throughout people’s lives in a highly personalized manner based on particular needs, interests, and past experiences. This type of multi-faceted learning is voluntary, self-directed, and often mediated within an engaging social context. It provides an experiential base and motivation for further activity and subsequent learning.
Seminars for the public are produced for Saturday attendances. The goal of the seminars is to make systems biology accessible to general audiences.
The Center is working on a conceptual plan to produce a traveling interactive exhibit about systems biology.
New Mexico Center for the Spatiotemporal Modeling of Cell Signaling
The Art of Systems Biology and Nanoscience
The Annual two-day long Art of Systems Biology and Nanotechnology event at the Santa Fe Complex (sf_x) features public lectures on quantitative biology and nanotechnology, workshops for kids and an exhibition of stunning digital and interactive art based on imaging, simulation and modeling.
For more information: Visit the STMC Art of Systems Biology & Nanoscience website