(Difference between revisions)
Line 29: Line 29:
And overall it was the 200. aniversary of this tradition, so it had to be good ...
And overall it was the 200. aniversary of this tradition, so it had to be good ...

Revision as of 18:42, 26 October 2010


Human Practice

When we were thinking about how to do human practice, we first wanted to present synthetic biology, the iGEM competition and our team at a stand in the middle of munich. But while discussing what information we wanted to provide, we recognized that we don´t know what people already know about this topic. So we changed our plans and conducted a survey on synthetic biology.

We asked people on their opinion of several topics, including some questions to check on their knowledge. To gather a broad range of participants, we asked people on the "Oktoberfest", in the University of Munich and while waiting at an urban authority.

For the english version of our original questionary, please click here. We also distributed a german version.

The evalution presents interesting figures of our survey.


Overall we asked 242 persons, with an age average of 25 years. Interestingly a bit over 51 % would support further research in synthetic biology and only about 8% wouldn't. The rest wasn't sure (yet). So let's take a closer look at the data to find out why they don't want to support it and what they know about it.



Yes we know it is a quite strange idea to go to a crowded place, where everyone goes just to drink beer and have fun, and ask question about such a sophisticated topic as synthetic biology.

But the tempting thing about the Oktoberfest is that it is quiet a international affair, in spite the fact that it should be a typically bavarian tradition. Together with the fact that we thought we would meet quite a broad range of people, and that these might be even more honest having a high blood alcohol, we thought it would be an interesting and maybe quite fun place to go with this survey.

And overall it was the 200. aniversary of this tradition, so it had to be good ...



Of course ourselves being students, we also wanted to check out what other students thought about the idea of synthetic biology. We thougt, as students do have a high educational standard we might see a difference to what people think at the Oktoberfest.

Our theory in this case was, that people, who aren't informed about a topic that might include possible misuse potential, and therefor might seem frightening would also have a bad opinion about that subject. So we hoped to see if there might be a correlation between education and knowledge about this particular subject and the support for this subject.


Urban authority

We did find a broad public at the Oktoberfest, but as many of them were not to say a bit drunk, we thought of another place with many people, that isn't exactly linked to a special group. So we thought of the urban authority, and as people have to wait there for quite a while ... we thought: perfect, let's sugar the pill and shorten there waiting time with a little synthetic biology.


Surprisingly looking at the data there wasn't such a big difference between the three locations as we would have expected.

A few interessting things maybe:

  • On the Oktoberfest 42% would go for the beer with higher alcohol compared to overall only 28%. (well maybe not that surprising ...)
  • On the Oktoberfest 27% indicated that they have heard of synthetic biology, but taking a closer look to there meeting with synthetic biology, we realised that only 20% might have really heard of synthetic biology ... this shows the overestimating effect of alcohol.
  • 31% and so quite more than on the Oktoberfest had heard of synthetic biology on the university
  • Only 16% had heard of synthetic biology at the urban authority
  • Only 24% on the university were religious compared to overall 38% ...