SBPWG:Meetings/June 30 2011

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Meeting Notes: June 30th 2011

Thursday June 30th 6-8pm

Byers Hall Room 313, UCSF Mission Bay Campus [map]

Preparation: Your ideas for the top 3+ most pressing practices-related issues to help seed/prioritize our top 10 gap list: (Enter these on the wiki beforehand if possible with your name)


0. Welcome, Introductions, News

1. Brief Update on Practices (Megan)

2. SB5.0 Debrief (Everyone)

3. Gap List Sharing & Brainstorming (Everyone)

4. Community Proposals (MIke F)

5. Science Festival Discussion

6. Plans for the Next Meeting


  • Megan Palmer
  • Ryan Ritterson
  • Mike Fisher
  • Danielle Tullman-Ercek
  • Joseph Shih
  • Jay Vowles
  • Alissa Kerner
  • Sara Aguiton


0. Welcome, Introductions, News

1. Brief Update on Practices (Megan)

State of Practices @ SynBERC

Four Projects:

  • Biosafety Education - Web base module to do better that the usual / Case study and pressing issues / Sequencing, screening, etc. / Story of the 1st generation genetic engineers.
  • Trust in a World of Profits and Secrets- Third party insurance in Biosafety and Biosecurity : Government, Policy – Develop Trust relationship with the public
  • Communities and Gaps - Guided by: On what the policy should be working? Agencies are asking for scientific advice (« half an hour with Jay or Drew »). What are the issues that we think relevant, and that we care about?
  • Beyond Containment


Practices Fellows

  • One Fellow at Each Institution
  • Point Person for Practices
  • Budget to Organize Meetings
  • Monthly Calls
  • Vision: to invest in Practices space, to be a coordinator, to build a cross institutional initiative. Be part of the curriculum of SynBERC.

Practices Workshop / Bootcamp

  • Workshop for Students/Postdocs to Learn in Practices-Related Areas
  • Need subgroup for curriculum/speaker development

East Coast Partnership

  • Working Group Meeting in Boston July 13th
  • Ideas for working together?

2. SB5.0 Debrief (Everyone)


  • Too rushy – Time was missing to discuss and meet people
  • Good science
  • Poster : Too messy – miss organization / Groups of poster weren't visible, Not enough time
  • Other previous meetings ? - SB4 was more panel tracks / more divided options
  • What about the next conference : how would you organized it ?


  • How can we improve it?
  • Idea: Rate on same quadrant axis as presentation of scientist concerns
  • RR: Take care about how you associate yourself to institution – UCSF is really freaking about that.

Interacting with Society

  • Reflections?
  • Interesting (while a lot of these stuff are boring)

3. Gap List Sharing & Brainstorming (Everyone)

  • Everyone asked to share their top 3 gaps and prioritize what is important for the field, and for them in particular. See the gaps link above for current document.

Other Notes:

  • The idea of « gap » is not clear for everybody in the room. Also can think of as mismatch.
  • Examples of gaps given: e.g. DIYbio – Biohack - Syn biology. Are we accountable for what they are doing ? e.g. How do you build ownership or protection for biological design ? How should I own it – how should I protect it
  • So many issues, so many topics, that people can not see what is important, stressing, etc.
  • Regarding the list of the challenges, the idea is to list the top 10 of the blocks that prevent us to build this techonology constructivly.
  • What are the top 10 of the general concerns + Additional contribution
  • Exercise and Agenda setting : A way to know if we are making progress.
  • Idea to have an ongoing workshop according to this agenda

4. Community Proposals (MIke F)

Pre-SB6 young investigator conference (Mike please add notes! - Notes added (Mike F 7/4/11))

This idea is modeled after my recollection of a Gordon Research Conference one-day young investigator symposium that preceded the main conference. If we do agree this is a good thing and get it going, we should have co-chairs and vice-chairs that are the co-chairs the next year.

SB6.0 Young/Early Career Investigators’ Symposium

Objective: Stage a one-day symposium immediately preceding the main conference where young investigators—graduate students, postdocs, and corresponding industry employees—present their work, engage in discussion about the field, and make connections with one another.

Deliverable: A valuable symposium.

The vision - Place heavy emphasis on the broader, big picture impacts of our work and presenting that work with clarity - Moderate with an iron fist: Strict adherence to the program out of respect for other speakers, poster presenters, and the audience so that all contributors are valued - Attain corporate sponsorship so that academic presenters may be supported by travel grants (perhaps to industry, also, if that’s what it takes for junior researchers being able to attend) - Call for presentations would require applicants to submit an abstract in the form of a summary figure with ~200 word caption that a person with a high school science background would understand. Possibly a 60 second video clip of them explaining their work in the context of synthetic biology and our society. - Poll the attendees about all of the working group’s ideas to change the landscape of science - Assistance from a handful of senior researchers – guidance, certainly not dominance

Tentative program v1 07:30 am Breakfast is available 08:00 am Video/panel discussion/very interactive session – state of the field (breakfast still available) 09:30 am Four 15 minute talks with 5 minutes for questions 10:50 am Break 11:20 am Four 15 minute talks with 5 minutes for questions 12:40 pm Lunch/socializing/networking/peruse posters/rest 2:40 pm Four15 minute talks with 5 minutes for questions 4:00 pm Break 4:30 pm Discussion about practices (panel/interactive); final word 6:00 pm Poster session cocktail (one or two hours)

NIH Open access add for every paper / NIH Program Manager : Invent a new paragraph in the abstract session of the papers; which will tell the main point of the research and that would be easy to understand for anybody with high school education.

5. Science Festival Discussion

  • Leader needed! - Danielle will take this on after the 27th of July.

6. Plans for the Next Meeting

  • July 18th (likely @ Stanford)