Team:Paris Saclay/Engagement

The Societal Issues of CRISPR/Cas9


Guided by curiosity we tried to establish a public dialogue beyond the lab on the societal issues on the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. We met public and stakeholders and tried to combine their contributions. We wanted for everyone the possibility to express an opinion over science. Everyone should be able to question Synthetic Biology, either if you're a professional or a citizen. This is even more true with the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The ethical question behind is so big that every citizen should be involved. We tried to gather all opinions on the societal issues of CRISPR/Cas9 from different fields, but also from public and professionals. We then tried to spread these informations amongst general audiences.

Our concern about Public Engagement was so strong we made "Inclusiveness" one of the principles of our Responsible Research and Innovation Test. To learn more about it, see our researches on Responsible Research and Innovation. When we asked to 18 teams to fill this test we saw how much inclusiveness is important among iGEM teams.

First, we tried to build a strong outreach. In order to do so, we did a survey to know how much people knew about synthetic biology and CRISPR/Cas9 and what were their feelings about it. We also made a vox pop vox pop for the same reasons. Thus we explained more what these techniques represent through many exhibitions like the one at the Festival Vivant and the Nanterre University. We learned a lot on CRISPR/Cas9 by meeting politics, scientists and patent Attorneys. We conducted many interviews with people working with the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and we saw a lot of variation between the opinion of scientists in general and scientists working specifically with the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. At last, we connected public and stakeholders during a conference on the societal issues of the CRISPR/Cas9 technology.conference on the societal issues of CRISPR/Cas9. Our lecturers were Jean-Denis Faure, professor at AgroParisTech and Pierre Walrafen, patent Attorney.