These past few weeks I have been working on the bio policy conference I have planned for the Fall. The date has been set, it will be November 5th (the day after the Jamboree) and will take place in one of the conference halls on MIT Campus. I have been reaching out to academics that have been involved in the policy process as well as policy makers themselves. It has been great to see their enthusiasm for student-led policy initiatives such as this one.
The first half of the conference will be a simulated crisis in which policy makers and students will be teamed up to respond to a hypothetical biosafety disaster. This exercise is designed to spark conversation between the two groups and help everyone understand how prepared the world is for one of these attacks. The second half will be a more traditional conference style with panels of policy makers and scientists who have been involved in the policy process speaking about challenges they have faced, as well as a poster session for students to showcase how they think about security and ethics in their work. I am super excited about this project and would love for more iGEMers to get involved. For more information about how to participate, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
These past couple of weeks I have also been scoping out the New York City biotech scene. Most notably I visited Flatiron Health which is revolutionizing cancer care in non-urban settings. I also recently put together an application for the After iGEM Representative Program that will streamline people being able to take advantage of this program. Keep a lookout for the application to go live and make sure to apply to represent iGEM at your favorite local conference. Also, keep a lookout for a blog post I put together about how I used LinkedIn to find iGEMers and what I learned from the experience.