by Aakriti Jain
The motivation behind the campaign is to put a face on synthetic biology. The campaign started with a simple goal: synthetic biologists everywhere tweeting a selfie/picture of themselves in an every day lab situation with a single, 140 character sentence (including the hashtag #meetsynbio) describing their relation to or work in synthetic biology.
The campaign is for scientists to meet their peers (much like the community we are building here at PLOS Synbio) and open a forum for discussion of mutual interests (scientific or not!) Furthermore, it is an opportunity to seriously come together as a community and talk about the advancement of synthetic biology into a responsible and exciting future.
Maxx Chatsko from the Motley Fool makes a wonderful case for the campaign. In his post, he says,
The public perception of synthetic biology was an important topic of discussion at the Synberc Spring Retreat at UC Berkeley in early April — and that’s a good thing. Synberc is a major U.S. research program that was created to make biology easier and safer to engineer by encouraging collaboration and educating researchers and policymakers on responsible practices. The organization also engages the public about the risks and benefits of deploying synthetic biology tools. After all, new genetic technologies have great potential to provide a combination of whole and partial solutions to societal issues ranging from climate change to skyrocketing health care expenses that remain completely or partially unaddressed by existing technologies. But that potential may only be realized if the benefits and risks are effectively communicated and discussed with the public.
In order to amplify the efforts to do exactly that, effectively communicate and discuss the benefits and risks of synthetic biology with not only the public, but also each other, the #meetsynbio campaign was developed.
There are a lot of exciting events and opportunities for engagement coming up. Check out the #meetsynbio website, or share your work and perceptions of synthetic biology with the community by writing here, at PLOS Synbio!
#MeetSynbio — The People Behind the Science