The ORION partner and non-profit Czech organisation JCMM (South Moravian Centre for International Mobility), was established in 2005 to support and stimulate an influx of students into the region and counteract the brain drain of scientific talent occurring at that time. Since its foundation, the range of JCMM activities has extended to now support talented young people, students, fellows and teachers. Within the ORION regional call for open science projects on local societal challenges, JCMM distributed 10 grants in 2019 to master/Ph.D.students to carry out projects containing strong elements of open science.
How much time do school pupils spend sitting each day? And if some do sit or move more than others, which are the factors that influence this? The ORION partner Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) has been investigating these questions together with pupils from German schools as part of the SMOVE – Science that makes me move-project.
The findings of the ORION public dialogue on genome editing in life sciences research were presented on 11th March 2021. The findings bring together four public dialogue events held in the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Czech Republic during 2019-2020. Case studies on the use of genome editing technology in fundamental research were used during the discussions with the public to help research organisations better understand the views of the public.
What does the public expect from genome editing in life-sciences? Results from ORION Public dialogues
Welcome to the online launch event of the findings of the ORION public dialogue on genome editing on 11 March at 14:00-16:00 CET. The public dialogues which were conducted in the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and the UK during 2019/2020 sought to explore public attitudes to fundamental life sciences research when revolutionary genome editing technologies are used in order to understand when and how to engage audiences with emerging technologies. The dialogue also sought to understand how public engagement strategies might differ between countries.
Taking Open Science ideas and putting them into practice is a challenge. Even at institutional level there are many different stakeholders with different motivations and challenges who need to support Open Science initiatives. At a national level, these challenges are even greater with many institutions and governing bodies needing to find common ground. This is a challenge that has been taken up in the ORION project and the Czech partner CEITEC - the Central European Institute of Technology, set about changing the way that their institution engaged in Open Science.
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.”
Talking about pollution on a global level is important, but for communities, it is equally important to understand and discuss how pollution is affecting their local environment. Protecting areas of local natural beauty is crucial in local communities, but this is difficult to achieve if people don’t know about the environmental threats that their local area faces. Klára Vaculíková from Brno University technology designed a project to engage school classes who helped to monitor levels of the water pollutant phosphorus in the Moravský kras which is a spectacular natural limestone feature to the north of Brno. This project was funded as part of a co-creation call from the ORION partner JCMM.
Genigma is one of the two citizen science projects that has received funding from the ORION Open Science project. The Genigma project, managed by CNAG-CRG, is developing a game to explore the genomic alterations in cancer cells. The idea of the game is the result of a collaboration between the scientific team and a group of citizens who have participated in co-creation events previous to the game development.
The ORION MELTIC project coordinated by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, has run its first co-creation workshops together with stakeholders from different sectors of society. The project, which started on 1st March 2020, brings together two disciplines; health as well as information and communication technologies (ICT), and will improve the quality of life of European citizens in small communities.
The online Engage Festival, organised by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) in the UK brought together public engagement and science communication professionals from all over the UK and the EU for discussions, knowledge exchange and networking. The ORION project ran a session to share experiences of how public dialogues could be a tool for public engagement on societal issues such as genome editing.