Engaging the public with synthetic biology Philippa Bayley  Centre for Public Engagement University of Bristol
Why engage? <ul><li>Public perspective: 2009 RAEng consultation </li></ul><ul><li>67% people haven’t heard anything about ...
Why engage? <ul><li>Public perspective: 2009 RAEng consultation </li></ul><ul><li>People can see great potential benefits ...
Why engage? Views depend on: Trust  in synthetic biologists Perceived benefits  of the work <ul><li>We can positively impa...
Why engage? <ul><li>Scientist perspective:   </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Paul Freemont, Imperial </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging...
Why engage? <ul><li>Other drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration of  research impact  – research grants and REF </li></ul...
Who might you engage? <ul><li>Media  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. through Science Media Centre </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policy...
How to engage? <ul><li>Press briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion events, science cafes </li></ul><ul><li>Deliberative g...
Engaging with the media <ul><li>Fiona Fox, Science Media Centre: </li></ul><ul><li>Talk  early  to the media </li></ul><ul...
What are we doing? <ul><li>Events: </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion event at Explore-At-Bristol </li></ul><ul><li>26 Nov 2009 ...
Over to you… <ul><li>Small groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Explore possibilities for public engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li...
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Scn Meeting Sept 09

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Scn Meeting Sept 09

  1. 1. Engaging the public with synthetic biology Philippa Bayley Centre for Public Engagement University of Bristol
  2. 2. Why engage? <ul><li>Public perspective: 2009 RAEng consultation </li></ul><ul><li>67% people haven’t heard anything about synbio </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion with stem cell biology </li></ul><ul><li>13% make associations with “artificial, unnatural, manmade” </li></ul><ul><li>With little knowledge, attitudes fluctuate </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why engage? <ul><li>Public perspective: 2009 RAEng consultation </li></ul><ul><li>People can see great potential benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable concerns: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Return on investment vs. social responsibility </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Why engage? Views depend on: Trust in synthetic biologists Perceived benefits of the work <ul><li>We can positively impact both of these through accessible, clear communication </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why engage? <ul><li>Scientist perspective: </li></ul><ul><li>Prof. Paul Freemont, Imperial </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging to make work accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Useful to broaden perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightening, surprising to hear people’s views </li></ul><ul><li>Rewarding to find people interested </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why engage? <ul><li>Other drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration of research impact – research grants and REF </li></ul><ul><li>Funding </li></ul><ul><li>Raise research profile </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance communication within SCN </li></ul>
  7. 7. Who might you engage? <ul><li>Media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. through Science Media Centre </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Policymakers </li></ul><ul><li>Research Councils/other funders </li></ul><ul><li>Business/industry </li></ul><ul><li>Special interest groups </li></ul><ul><li>Schools and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>General public </li></ul>
  8. 8. How to engage? <ul><li>Press briefings </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion events, science cafes </li></ul><ul><li>Deliberative games (e.g. Democs) </li></ul><ul><li>Festivals or exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>Science centres </li></ul><ul><li>Public consultations (e.g. BBSRC) </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Producing images/animations </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible case studies of research </li></ul>
  9. 9. Engaging with the media <ul><li>Fiona Fox, Science Media Centre: </li></ul><ul><li>Talk early to the media </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about the benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about the risks </li></ul><ul><li>See every threat as an opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to the right people </li></ul>
  10. 10. What are we doing? <ul><li>Events: </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion event at Explore-At-Bristol </li></ul><ul><li>26 Nov 2009 - please volunteer </li></ul><ul><li>Possible stand at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Resources: </li></ul><ul><li>SCN website – PE area </li></ul><ul><li>Top tips – PE and science cafes </li></ul><ul><li>Images & animations </li></ul><ul><li>Text for public audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Training opportunities </li></ul>
  11. 11. Over to you… <ul><li>Small groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Explore possibilities for public engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Type of activity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resources/support </li></ul></ul></ul>

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