On 3rd August 2019, network members, Dr Carmen McLeod and Dr Eleanor Hadley Kershaw (SBRC- Nottingham, Interdisciplinary Responsible Research and Innovation Group) organised a workshop in order to explore public views on using synthetic biology applications to make chemicals and fuels from waste gases. The workshop used an innovative format, which required the sixteen participants to respond to questions by building models with LEGO. Dr Stevienna de Saille (University of Sheffield), who is a trained Lego® Serious Play® facilitator, led the workshop. Two scientists from the network also led a discussion on the work they are doing and also presented our animation.
Analysis and findings from the workshop will be shared with scientists, industry partners and management members in SBRC-Nottingham, and with two European Projects: BIOMETCHEM, ENGICOIN, with the goal of encouraging further reflection and discussion about ongoing synthetic biology research.
There was positive feedback from the participants at the workshop, who enjoyed both the workshop format and the opportunity to contribute to a discussion about synthetic biology applications.
Workshop feedback examples:
– “It was very interactive and building things from Lego was fun and really showcased your views.”
– “I really enjoyed meeting and talking with the scientists”
– “Well-structured discussion allowing everyone to have their say”
Network member – Dr James Millard said “I was pleasantly surprised by the reception our work had from members of the public. They were generally supportive of genetic modification of acetogenic bacteria for the purpose of carbon capture and chemical manufacturing.”