Building With Biology: Explaining Synthetic Biology

by | Jul 8, 2015

Activities and Conversations about Synthetic Biology.

Synthetic biology. Ever hear of it? Probably not and that’s why Pacific Science Center and other museums have launched a new effort to get the public up to speed about this field of study. A PacSci Podcast embedded below helps explain it.

Synthetic biology has developed so quickly that, even though it is all around us, schools and museums haven’t had time to educate people about it. So, we all developed activities for synthetic biologists to explain what it is and start conversations about how it affects our lives, our relationships and our economy.

Each museum shared their activities with the others and now we are all holding a “Building With Biology” Day to see how these activities will work together and how the public receives them. After a round of beta-testing and some adjustments, the plan is to send these activities to 200 museums where they can be shared with the public. The project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Scientists and experts in synthetic biology have volunteered to come to Pacific Science Center on Sunday, July 26, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., to chat about benefits, risks, costs, societal implications and regulations around synthetic biology. They will each choose a hands-on activity to engage guests (similar to our Scientist Spotlight events) and they’ll participate in fun, goal-driven conversations with the public.

What is synthetic biology? Well, that’s part of the problem. The field has developed so fast there isn’t a clear definition yet. But here’s an explanation some of the museums have been using: Synthetic biology uses new techniques combining biology and engineering to make new or modified living things and materials.

We encourage you to join us for what promises to be an exciting, important and rather historic day of discovery for science and society.

Building With Biology

There is no extra charge for this event. Entry is included with the price of general admission. It’s free for our Members.