Education and Public Engagement

The BostonU 2016 iGEM team developed new bioethics forums about future synthetic biology applications, geared towards high school students and undergraduates. These forums not only teach about emergent advances in synthetic biology, but also facilitate ethics discussions pertaining to the consequences in our rapidly advancing world. They enable informed discussion from individuals with diverse viewpoints. Our forums include background information about the topic, several plans of action, thoughts to keep in mind when choosing solutions, and guiding questions to aid students. We fully completed two forums, "Martian Colonization" and “Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes” and are finalizing two more forums, "Genetically Modified Foods," and "Editing the Germ Line." This summer, we conducted forums for a high school class, a summer high school STEM program, and an undergraduate course, and received great feedback from participating students and teachers. Our forums are available to the wider iGEM and synthetic biology community.