Science café: Synthetic biology animal vaccine engineering and its societal implications

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After the first Science Cafè in Barcelona, the second MycoSynVac Science Cafè took place June 25, 2016 in Amsterdam at the Nemo Science Museum. It was held as part of the two-day long Synergene Forum 2016, a large public event which discussed synthetic biology as well as responsible research and innovation from a societal perspective. The first day of the Forum was dedicated to plenary and panel talks, while the second day focused on interactive and dynamic sessions.Two scientists from the MycoSynVac consortium, Alicia Broto Hernandez (Imperial College) and Vitor Martins dos Santos (Wageningen University), presented the project to an engaged audience and Markus Schmidt (Biofaction KG) served as moderator during the ensuing discussion.

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The science café event was attended by about 65 – 70 people, most of whom were forum participants from a variety of backgrounds: scientists, civil society and non-profit organizations, biohackers and policy makers. As a result, the discussion afterwards was very active and diverse: Ranging from questions about wet lab activities, to whether the project could lead to human applications, and from the use of antibiotics in industrial farming practices to the concept of multi-vector vaccines.

Coming up, we’re planning future MycoSynVac Science Cafés in further partner countries (e.g. France, Germany).