Team:BCCS-Bristol/Human Practices/Marketing Campaign/Motivation


Publicity Campaign: Outline


The stages of our campaign are:

  • Development of a prototype
  • Specification of a hypothetical product to use in the campaign
  • Identification of issues from conclusions of many surveys
  • Consideration of how to address these issues
  • Production of public information leaflet
  • Future development

Development of a prototype

Our wet lab and modelling work have produced a functioning prototype – successfully detecting and reacting to nutrient levels in the soil. This is proof of concept: the project can be developed further.

Specification of a hypothetical product to use in the campaign

Using predictions based on our prototype and further research into how arable farmers might wish to use it, we have decided on the hypothetical properties that our product should possess. It is important for consistency in our materials that we have a final specification for how the product will work, the form it will take and the trials and tests that it will have passed.

Identification of issues from conclusions of many surveys

A lot of information has been collected by iGEM teams about public perception. Many surveys have been performed – with people in the field and also the general public. We hope to make use of these findings by putting their data and conclusions into action. By responding to the issues raised, we hope to make progress above and beyond just highlighting where the problems lies, and address them directly.

Consideration of how to address these issues

The purpose of this publicity campaign is to address some of the issues surrounding public information and perception: to produce material that is balanced and accessible, carefully worded and constructed not to be misleading or frightening. This gives us a framework to identify and address ways in which synthetic biology and similar fields are currently portrayed and explore the possible reasons for public perception.

Production of public information leaflet

The publicity campaign idea could be expanded into trade posters, TV adverts, internet awareness, etc. Firstly, we decided to produce a public information leaflet. If this were real, the idea would be to distribute it to people in the local area around where farmers were using our product. As this is a hypothetical campaign, instead these should be distributed at science awareness events: such as school visits, science fairs, open days, etc, to encourage people to engage with synthetic biology research.

Future development

As well as the potential to develop a lots more materials in varying media outlets, there is also the chance for collaboration between teams. Collaboration could result in a library of leaflets detailing each of their projects, their motivation and potential uses. These could be used to raise public awareness of the possibilities of synthetic biology without being affiliated to a particular company. By demonstrating the wide variety of research and its potential whilst also providing useful sources of further information, it would provide a scientifically sound introduction to the field without relying solely on journalism to spark an informed debate. It would also promote the work of iGEM’s many teams – a quick way to communicate the essence of the research!

MotivationProduct SpecificationPublic PerceptionMaterialsFuture Work