Team:UNIK Copenhagen/Human Practices

Human Practices Overview

Public Engagement

Perhaps the biggest undertaking beyond constructing the co-culture itself, was engaging the public on the important questions in relation to our work. The importance of this cannot be understated, as the perspectives of the entire world is relevant in a project of these extraterrestrial dimensions.

Awareness Campaign

By means of a guerilla marketing campaign, we sought to raise awareness of our project in conjunction with our presentation and public engagement. That is to say, we embraced the fact that we lacked resources for a major marketing campaign and further embraced the futuristic and 'mysterious' angle on our project. We opted to produce merchandise and rather than giving it out blatantly, we made sure that stickers appeared in public transportation, at bars and in bathrooms. Furthermore a good marketing campaign includes things such as mugs appearing in public kitchens, pens given out at university campuses and notepads strewn about auditoriums. Our hope was that in unity, we could make a serious difference in educating people about human future in space.

bus sticker

Media Outreach

We have been extensively featured in the media, through great effort on our part in the beginning but later by virtue of public interest and lively debate.
We regard this to be confirmation that our project has gripped the community and sparked interest that has come to stay. That our project has transcended its scientific background and entered the community as an idea, a journey and a goal. Our concrete results are displayed below.

English Making like in Space Easier by CosmoCrops Space bacteria will produce dinner for Mars astronauts Genetically Engineered Bacteria can Grow Food, Forks on Mars Space Bacteria Will Produce Dinner for Mars Astronauts Copenhagen University iGEM team harvest sunlight with new design Space bacteria will produce dinner for Mars astronauts Bioengineered bacteria could be used to 3D print food and tools on Mars Bacteria could do the repair work on space missions Copenhagen's iGEM team wins nordic conference 3D printable food, medicine and plastics could be grown on Mars through CosmoCrops project 3D Plastic Printing Gets Intergalactic Boost 3D printable food, medicine and plastics could be grown on Mars through CosmoCrops project
Danish Rumbakterier skal producere aftensmad til kommende marsmænd Studerende vil skabe råstofbakterier til fremtidens astronauter Bakterier i bagagen skal sikre fremtidens rumrejser Tag en bakterie med på Mars – og lav mad, medicin eller værktøj af den Science studerende vinder Nordisk iGEM konkurrence
Chinese CosmoCrops可以在火星上3D打印食品等 CosmoCrops项目:让3D打印材料在火星上长出来 星球移民新曙光:太空播种+3D打印 丹麦学生借3D打印技术将细菌转化成各种物质 CosmoCrops可以在火星上3D打印食品等 丹麥啟動CosmoCrops項目:讓3D列印材料在火星上長出來
Russian 3D-печать, бактерии и Марс, или Как датские студенты решают проблемы космической логистики Ученые посоветовали космонавтам на Марсе создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий Эра Новостей Источник: Ученые посоветовали космонавтам на Марсе создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий Космонавты на Марсе могут создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий При всем этом предлагается использовать всего две бактерии, с помощью которых нужная одежда и пища для космонавтов будет печататься на 3D-принтере. Бактерии могут помочь создавать еду и вещи членам будущих марсианских экспедиций космонавтам на Марсе создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий Датские студенты создают материалы для 3D-печати из бактерий Проект CosmoCrops предлагает использовать бактерии для производства материалов для 3D-печати (+ видео) Ученые Космонавты на Марсе могут создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий Бактерии помогут астронавтом создавать на Марсе еду и вещи 3D-печать, бактерии и Марс, или Как датские студенты решают проблемы космической логистики Выяснилось, как будут питаться космонавты на Марсе Космонавты на Марсе могут создавать еду и вещи с помощью бактерий
Polish Drukowanie jedzenia i narzędzi na Marsie może stać się możliwe w niedalekiej przyszłości
Bulgarian Космически бактерии ще осигуряват храна на космонавтите на Марс
Korean [덴마크] 우주 여행에 필요한 제품을 3D프린터로 생산하는 연구


Our goals cannot be achieved alone, that is a fact - it is too grand a mission to go on alone. This is one of the central values of iGEM itself, and so no less than X international collaborating teams would do:

Beyond the tangible lab-cooperation of the above, we have enjoyed many friendships with other teams - discussing our ideas, meeting at international meet-ups and spending hours upon hours on Skype co-developing our ideas.

Meeting Randy
Skype Screenshot

Commercial and Ideological Aspects

Our large-scale ambition is to substantiate and help facilitate space exploration and colonization. Towards this end it was necessary to seriously consider practical circumstances and their influence on the makings of our project.

Our first step was to investigate the legislation concerning intellectual property, and the next to consider the modularity and its application. All such endeavours are described. Lastly, we addressed the extremely necessary matter of ideological and ethical facets of space exploration. All of it can be seen here.


Bioethics of space exploration and use of co-cultures.

Sustainability is, needless to say, an important theme to have in mind when doing absolutely anything this day and age. The term changes identity somewhat when it comes to space however, because there we have even worse opportunities to recycle, and, obviously, quite simply bringing 'more stuff' is not an option.

One must be capable of growing things in space, and one must be able to remove the tracks of that action. To that end, no less than biodegradeable materials secreted from sporulating bacteria will do; so that very little mass can be brought out, cultured to become a lot of mars, and then degraded to become lactate (a possible fertilizer) - thus closing the "cradle to cradle"-loop.

It is not only in space that we reflect on how our choices effects the planet, we have also decided to have organic, Fairtrade t-shirts for the Giant Jamboree

The Workshop

Human Practices workshop!

We had so much fun hosting the new (hopefully) annual human practices! Even before the workshop, we were already, great friends with the other Danish teams. Whenever we were talking about the medals, there was one subject that kept coming up, – what is this “human practices” thing? So, we decided to host a human practices workshop. We wanted our friends and ourselves, to learn by doing. We also invited several other of our friendshipteams (read more here) and our friends from Göteborg, came all the way from Sweden to join us!

At the workshop we also involved ourselves in patent reflections, philosophy, public speaking and general human practises.
The workshop was a great success and thanks to Anna from headquarters, who were also at the workshop, we was invited to make a talk at the Giant Jamboree about making a workshop.

Anonymous: “It was great! The number of people and the venue helped to have really good interactions among people. The projects will be very highly benefitted from an activity like this. This event was amazing, I hope more meetups like this happen next year!”

Property rights

The team is currently in contact with a patent-lawyer. That’s all we’re telling you for now.


We held a human practices workshop for us and some of our iGEM friend-teams, where the main focus was dedicated to ethics in science. We did this to underline two things - how important ethics are, and how aware you must be of them.
In our project, the main focus of ethics have been on the discussion if it should be okay to bring life to Mars.
At the moment, international legislation is not yet ready for the extensive phenomenon that is space exploration - regarding anything outside of Earth as international waters, and decreeing that any cargo brought into it be sterile. This is not possible to achieve when dealing with a bioreactor, and as such our task was less in considering the ethics and more in engaging the public and starting the dialogue that might end in more enlightened legislation.
Current rules are stopping humankind from developing outside of Earth, and we have attempted to get the ball rolling to a more sensible and specific legislation.
To investigate the yield of the workshop, we asked our participants to answer a survey, where 66,66% answered that they found the ethics part useful. This shows us that ethics of science still needs more focus.

Social media

As another way kind of media, is social media, where people from all over the world can share, tweet and snap about their life, we found it very fit for us to be on both Facebook and Twitter.

On Twitter we have 386 followers and have tweeted 256 images and stories.
On Facebook we have 906 followers, from all over the world!


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