Human Practices - Talks


High schools

We went to some high schools and do a presentation to high school students. We first gave them the survey to have their opinion, and then we did a short presentation about synthetic biology. The idea was to interact with some young people that are potentially interested in our field (they all had taken the physics-math or biology-chemistry specialisation), but without special knowledge about it. We wanted first of all to tell them some fields of biology and gave them the example of our project. We listened to their opinions about cloning, biotechnology and genetic engineering. After our presentation, we gave them some time so that they could ask more specific questions about what scientific research is.

In order to do this, we took contact with Ms Aminian, a chemistry high school teacher in Burier. We went to give a talk on Wednesday September 30th and on Friday October 2nd to 4 different classes (about 100 students in total). These students were between the age of 14 and 16 years old, and therefore didn't have any special knowledge in the field. Here is the presentation we did.

We also had a contact in Valais, and we gave a talk there on October 2nd as well, to about 40 students. These students were a bit older, in average 18-19 years old, and they already had had biology classes for 5 years, so this presentation was of a more advanced level. To see the presentation : here.

Singapore General Hospital

During our study trip in Singapour, we presented our iGEM project during a symposium at the Singapore General Hospital, to various doctors, professors and students from the facility and affiliated to it. Here is the presentation. The people attending the symposium were mostly researchers of the hospital and our class colleagues (about 70 people).

Here is a short scene of the presentation we did there : click here

Merck Serono

We also went on a visit trip to the Merck Serono (EMD Serono) site in Corsier-sur-Fenil (near Vevey), on October 9th. There we gave a short talk about our project (presentation here, had the possibility to interact with some researchers. Finally, we had the opportunity to visit the site and got a chance to see their bioreactors.



A high school student followed us during one week. He wanted to have an overview of how the life in a lab is, what a lab looks like etc.
here is a short article on his experience during this week


It was very enriching to do these presentations. We liked in particular talking to the high schools students, it was very interesting to talk with them and exchange opinion. They were very surprised to learn that biotech is actually present everywhere around us (wine and beer made with the help of yeasts, ...). We also talked of genetically modified organisms. We told them that actually bananas are triploid but this is natural in contrast to the oysters we can eat, that were modified to be triploid and such sterile. They realized that they were eating some GMO whithout even having noticed it...

In Singapore, we had the opportunity to present our project to a scientific audience. It was good to see which questions they were asking and that they were very interested to our project.

The Merck Serono visit was also very useful. We met this summer a molecular biologist working there, and he told us that our system was very interesting for him. It would indeed be of great help to be able to implement such a system in a bioreactor : in opposite to a ligand, we can take off light very easily and it can be implemanted in a sterile system. We could therefore learn a bit more about bioreactor and how such a big society works during this visit.

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