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BIOPOP - Pilot Study on Innovative Approaches to Public Communication of Life Sciences and Biotechnology by Students and Young Researchers


Despite the growing effort, it still isn't possible to envision a single solution to science communication activities. Actors of this process are likely to play a key role in successful dialogue. We propose a pilot study to explore new approaches to biotech communication, focused on two key aspects: <OL> <LI> the actors will be students and young life sciences researchers;<LI> communicational events will be organised in the main square of two selected cities using a mixture of animation, games for children, music, public discussions and real experiments performed with common kitchen "reagents" in an "open lab" environment.

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The study will be structured in three phases: <OL> <LI> The best available information on similar experiences and practices will be collected and structured. The EFB Task Group on Public Perception will compose a high profile advisory group in order to support young partners with the experience of high level scientists and journalists. An intensive training program will be organized for people leading local events. <LI> "Pop" events will be organised in an ad hoc designed tent: food safety, GMO issues and ethical topics will be addressed with a special approach in order to avoid a "deficit model" of communication. Feedback and contributions will be collected in a bottom-up direction. A virtual city square will be set-up to give continuity to people's participation. Design, promotion and feedback collection will be improved by the participation of SME's involved in web development, communicational design, and through involvement of important media already interested in our activities. <LI> Results will be analysed, discussed and completely documented. Appropriate dissemination will be planned both through the internet and the capillary structures of participating organisations as well as through collaborating institutions and media. Results will be available for further training activities and preparation of a future, and larger EU proposal.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.

Lescai, Francesco
Association of Italian Biotechnologists, University of Bologna
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