To help open science up to a wider audience, ORION organised a number of public dialogues in the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic during 2019-2020. One purpose of the dialogues was to explore public attitudes to genome editing technology, which has revolutionized scientific research in the past decade and has the potential for broad societal impact. The dialogues also aimed to understand how to engage the public on disruptive technologies and how public engagement strategies could vary between countries. Information about the potential use of the technology has led to a wide variety of different opinions and reactions from the public, which are not always based on scientific fact. The empirical evidence gathered during the dialogues will provide the basis of future communications strategies within the ORION institutions.
Can art help to explain scientific concepts? During the course of the ORION project, artist Emilia Tikka designed an art piece to represent a possible future scenario where it was possible to prevent aging using genome editing. The art piece was produced by Tikka while she was on a residency with the ORION partner, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. There she spent time in a molecular biology lab and developed the concept for her art piece titled “ÆON - Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR.”
The ORION Open Science Podcast started as a way to communicate with new audiences. For science to be open, information has to be accessible, and taking advantage of this unique audio medium was too good an opportunity to pass up. The podcast officially launched with episode one in 2019 and is now in its second season with the podcast hosts Luiza Bengtsson and Zoe Ingram who have deep dive discussions with experts on a wide variety of topics related to Open Science.