As part of the dissemination activities, NEWCOTIANA partners from CSIC have been leading an initiative sponsored by Fundació Bosch i Cardellach, in collaboration with Sabadell Municipality (Catalunya, Spain), that has as a main objective to get local citizens acquainted with the methods scientists use to acquire knowledge. Following the “Christmas Lectures” organized by the Royal Institution in UK, the idea is to turn this activity in an annual one and to involve students and teachers of the major educational centres in the city although the activities are open to all local citizens. By reviewing a specific case of acquisition of scientific knowledge, we aim to approach citizens with the ways scientist work and how scientific knowledge differs from other “alternative” ways to approach reality.
This year topic: “Gene Editing”
Biotechnology offers now better than ever before the possibility to modify the recipe book where the instructions to build a living being are written. In a similar way as we use a word processor to edit a text or rewrite a paragraph as we feel fit, we are now able to rewrite pieces of DNA, the language of life to change meaning or to correct mistakes. Beyond the consequences this technology has /could have in changing living organisms on the future of the biosphere, understanding how scientist have been able to go from the study of a basic mechanisms bacteria use to defend from virus to a series of gene editing tools is an excellent opportunity to find out how science Works. Students from five centres in Sabadell have been working on the subject under the advice of the Newcotiana partner CSIC (Antonio Granell) with the close collaboration of the high school professors using different resources. The performed activities were presented as posters in a workshop organized on December 19 in l’Espai Cultura – Fundació Caixa Sabadell 1859. As a closing ceremony activity Antonio Granell presented a lecture on “Gene editing: revolution is here” . More than 400 people attended including students, local citizens and local press.