Team:TU Delft/Publicity/communication plan/interview



BioSafety: Interview with Lesley Robertson, our Biological Safety Advisor

iGEM TU Delft @ NEMO's Night of the Nerds

Interview with Pierre Wind - Dutch celebrity Chef (in Dutch, subtitles still to follow)

Interview with Karel Luyben, Rector Magnificus @ TU Delft

(in Dutch, subtitles still to follow)

Interview Patricia Osseweijer, Science Communication Professor

(in Dutch, subtitles still to follow)

Interview with Science Communication Professor Patricia Ossenweijer

Patricia Osseweijer is the Professor Science Communication & Education of the TU Delft. According to Patricia, communicating science literally means the translation of science and technology to society. This does not only mean the explaination of science, but also the involvement of different groups in the discussion about what should be done and why.

“In Delft we have a project running with the European Union, hereby we look at the social and ethical regulatory aspects of synthetic biology. We are trying to figure out the key issues that live in society. Naturally, we also gives lectures about new findings at for example the Kluyver Centre.”

Than a question on synthetic biology: How far may we go with this technology? If possible, is designing people ok? “It is all about setting the right boundaries", she says. "What do we find acceptable and what not? Who determines this and how does one determine those boundaries? Changing the color of eyes is a big difference compared to preventing sickness. But if it comes to intelligence, perhaps that’s a different story…”

According to our professor the scientist has an important responsibility in the communication of science & technology. “After all, a lot of research is paid with tax money, so I find it good that you discuss your results with the rest of society”. She also mentions that it is important to find out what these results mean for society. "Deciding to what possible applications these technological findings must lead, is thinking material for both scientists and non-scientists. The Rathenau Insitute is an organ of the government that prepares and organizes debates on this."

Last but not least we ask her to were we should be aware of with open scource? "So you mean: Should it be allowed to do biotech in your garage? Should you provide experimental information so that anyone can imitate your work? This is called dual-use in ethics. The concern here is that it can be used for the good, but it can also be abused. As a scientist you must carefully think about this and I advise you to listen to people who longer thought about this."

In her final words she says that she believes that iGEM competitions are fun and stimulating. "I can imagine that it is a great experience to work in the field, but also to communicate your project to the world!"