Public Engagement: a dialogue with stakeholders
How could we ever develop and design a medical device without consulting medical professionals and potential users?
Our public engagement took us outside the lab to meet with people on the forefront of STI diagnosis and prevention at free diagnosis centers. We decided to meet the actor of the fight against the extension of STIs and to see the place they are used to work. Taking part in the debate with the civil society and understand the expectancy of the medical professional, lead us to question the reception of our device by the involved stakeholders. Our interlocutors shared with us their experiences and a bit of their time. We were very affected by the energy, the voluntarism, the kindness and the will to help us from the Diagnosis center teams. For instance, Mrs Barbier even propose us to use our device in the context of her work. However the device was not finished yet.
During the interviewed our interlocutors longly insist on the role of prevention and information and pointed the lack of the financial means to accomplish that mission. They also replace the other STIs than HIV, at the center of the debate. The other STIs are less mediatized but they are very transmissible and their consequences can be very serious. So developing a multi biosensor test can be really pertinent in the future moreover they were very interested in our prototype. We don’t hesitate to compare our device to the currently existing ones and to discuss with the medical staff about the pertinent technical choices to do.
During the project we keep a very strong link with the CeGIDD as they were really interested in our work. We have planned to meet up for a feedback after the Jamboree. We envisage to let a footprint of our work at the CeGIDD by giving them a report about the humanistic approach and the technical points of our project. We know that lives are threatened by STIs, so our research has to be easily reused by doctors, engineer or iGEMers that solicited the CeGIDD for co-working. It is also part of our engagement. As working with the CeGIDD was a great pleasure, we also truly envisage to rework with them in the next projects.Public engagement
A survey intended for potential users was also elaborated in collaboration with the diagnosis center staff. We wanted to evaluate the acceptability of our test and to improve it. Once more the CeGIDD medical enthusiastically helped us in our approach, by distributing the results in the waiting time room. This survey was really satisfying for us and highlighted again the accompaniment issue.Public acceptation
To conclude, the interviews with the medical staff helped us have a new point of view on the project. From the dialogue with medical staff emerged the necessity of doing a survey and a prevention poster. The elaboration of the prevention poster was very complex but as it involved all the team. We spend good time of exchanging ideas and trying new step up for the picture. The prevention poster appropriate the concept of game, but it is the game of health or STIs, a terrible game. We also reflect a lot about STIs in general in order to concept an eco-viewer prevention poster. Our poster out make the viewer in a reflexion conscious state.Social justice
Education: an introduction for next IGEM Lyon team...
To complete our engagement in terms of prevention and humanities, we wanted to share our summer experience with new students from our school. It was also the occasion for them to discover a real biology lab and to learn about synthetic biology. The objective was to promote the interest for scientific and technical career. As biology is not taught during the first two years at the INSA of Lyon, we wanted to orientate the debate less on biology and more on engineering values. Those are greatly related to the synthetic biology approach (e.g. innovation, scientifical curiosity, responsibility). It is necessary to instillate very early those values in order to give some reflexions axis to future engineer-student. This choices allows us to also established an more reciprocated dialogue.
The science education was divided in three workshop. Each workshop enabled the dialogue in terms of engineer responsibility starting from the experiences of the student. It was the occasion for the students to discover a real biology lab and to learn about synthetic biology. They were enchanted by this workshop. Most of them had no idea of what was biology and were very curious concerning our job at the laboratory. It is always a strong emotional moment to see the next student generation to marvel and be so interested by science and ask us “ what about the iGEM 2017 ? You recruit first year students ”? This day has definitely created some synthetic biology vocation.
For us, it was also the occasion to analyse our organization and to highlight the positive and improvable aspects. This introspection work before starting the final month allows us to improve management of the team.Science Education