Festival Event Asks: “Could a Biotech Revolution Transform Scotland and Ignite Interest in the Life Sciences?”
Released: 05 November 2012
The importance of a biotechnology revolution to Scotland’s economy and engaging young people’s interest in the life sciences will form the centrepiece of a major event taking place in Edinburgh on Saturday 10 November 2010.
The Revolution Will Be Bio-Based… – which is organised by the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum and ESRC Innogen Centre, and forms part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science – is a free, fun and interactive event which will combine practical bio-science demonstrations and exhibitions with discussion sessions on the future direction of the life sciences.
Topics up for consideration in TED style discussions, each featuring an expert panel, include:
- Could DIY-Bio ignite young people’s interest in the life sciences?
- How important is biotechnology to rebuilding the UK’s economy?
- Could Scotland, the country which gave the world “Dolly” the cloned sheep, potentially be leader in a global revolution in the life sciences?
Biotechnology demonstrations will allow those attending the opportunity to experience life science techniques first hand, and will include making a microbial fuel cell, and extracting DNA from a strawberry. There will also be exhibitions on the work of Scotland’s ground-breaking life sciences research centres.
Speaking in advance of the The Revolution Will Be Bio-Based..., Director of the ESRC Genomics Forum, Professor Steve Yearley, said:
“The world is currently experiencing a biotechnology revolution, akin to the industrial and information-technology revolutions of previous centuries. Biotechnology is increasingly important to both Scotland’s economy and society, with many recent advances in the life sciences – such as the cloning of Dolly the Sheep – resulting from Scottish-based research.
“However, with developments in biotechnology happening so quickly, Scotland cannot afford to rest on its laurels. This event will provide an opportunity to discuss how we should look to develop Scottish life sciences in the future, in order to maximise their benefit to Scotland’s society and economy. It will also enable young people to explore exactly how engaging biotechnology – including DIY-bio – can be, which is highly important if we are going to develop Scotland as a world leader in the life sciences.”
The Revolution Will Be Bio-Based takes place from 1pm-5pm on Saturday 10 November, at the University of Edinburgh’s Appleton Tower, Crichton Street, Edinburgh. All discussions and demonstrations are free, but it is recommended that places be reserved in advance, via http://revolutionwillbebiobased.eventbrite.co.uk/, in order to avoid disappointment.
For further information and to arrange interviews, please contact: Chris Berry, Press and Communications Officer, Genomics Forum
firstname.lastname@example.org / Tel: 0131 651 4746
Note to Editors:
- Full details on the ESRC Festival of Social Science event, The Revolution Will Be Bio-Based can be found at following location: 10 November 2012 The Revolution will be Bio-Based
- Participants in the discussion sections of the event include:
- Dr Simon Gage, Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival
- Asa Calow, Creative Technologist, DIY Biologist and Founder/Director of the MadLab in Manchester
- Professor David Wield, Director of the ESRC Innogen Centre
- Dr Ian Fotheringham, President of Ingenza
- Aidan Courtney, Chief Executive of Roslin Cells
- Lilian Hamilton, Innovation Topic Leader at Scottish Enterprise
- The ESRC Genomics Forum has a commitment to promote social research on the contemporary life sciences around issues including designer babies, synthetic blood, DNA profiling, identity politics, personalised medicine, stem cell research and synthetic biology. Creative engagements form a valuable part of this work helping to reach new audiences. Based at the University of Edinburgh, the Forum runs a programme of national and international activities to draw natural and social scientists, policy makers, regulators, civil society and business into an ongoing dialogue about the relationship between genomics and society. The Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network.
- The ESRC Innogen Centre is a dynamic collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and the Open University that explores the social and economic impact of innovation in the life sciences. Through work in areas such as global health, food and energy security, cell technologies, synthetic biology, and the economics of innovation, Innogen seeks to further innovation generation across a range of sectors by offering in-depth, rigorous research and impartial, non-partisan, evidence-based advice to public, private and social sector stakeholders.
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk.
- The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 3-10 November 2012. With events from some of the country's leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. This year's Festival of Social Science has over 180 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website. You can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival.