1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Genomics Forum · Events

The Revolution will be Bio-Based

ESRC Festival of Social Science   10.11.2012





Organised by

and (Innogen)


Appleton Tower (Concourse and Lecture Theatre 1)

11 Crichton Street



Event details

Saturday 10th November 2012


1pm-5pm, Appleton Tower, Crichton Street, Edinburgh

An afternoon of demonstrations, exhibitions and discussions exploring advancing biotechnology and its impact on society and the economy

On 10th November 2012, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum and the ESRC Innogen Centre will host a fun and interactive afternoon as part of the ESRC’s UK-wide Festival of Social Science exploring the economic and societal opportunities of the biotechnology revolution.

Bio-hacking and synthetic biology are at the forefront of this revolution, but what exactly are they and how do they impact life as we know it?

This free event will combine practical demonstrations and exhibitions with discussion sessions on the future direction of the life sciences.

You’ll get to:

  • Get in on the discussion about the current and future relationship between the life sciences, society and the economy
  • Listen to and engage with speakers on issues like:
    • Could DIY-Bio ignite young people’s interest in life sciences? (13.30-14.15)
    • How important is biotechnology in re-building the UK economy? (14.30-15.15)
    • Could Scotland, the country which gave the world “Dolly” the cloned sheep, potentially lead a global revolution in the life sciences? (15.30-16.15)
  • Learn about the latest biotechnology developments coming out of Scotland’s groundbreaking life science research centres in the exhibitions on display
  • Make your own microbial fuel cell or extract some DNA from a strawberry during one of the hands-on DIY-Bio experiments led by MadLab’s DIY-Bio club

As new bio-based technologies emerge in the 21st century, social and ethical questions abound yet social science is helping us to answer these questions and see biotechnology in a more positive light. By holding a multi-faceted celebratory event involving a mixture of demonstrations, exhibitions and presentations, we aim to have a fun interactive afternoon with something for everyone. With informative displays, fascinating demos and intellectually stimulating presentations and debates, we hope to shift popular perception away from the usual scaremongering view of bio-weapons and disease, towards one that sees biotechnology as an exciting contributor to the country’s economy and society.

T‌here will be art installations, science demonstrations and poster exhibitions revealing all the many amazing aspects of biotechnology and the life sciences.

Organisations exhibiting their work and providing hands on demonstrations include:

Discussion programme

13.30-14.15 Will DIY Bio and Synthetic Biology ignite young people’s interest in the life sciences?

Chaired by Professor Steve Yearley, Director of the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum


Dr Simon Gage, Director of the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Asa Calow, Creative Technologist, DIY Biologist and Founder/Director of the MadLab in Manchester

14.30-15.15 Will investment in the biological sciences herald a new age for economic growth? How important is biotechnology in rebuilding the UK economy?

Chaired by Dr Lorraine Kerr, SynthSys Project Manager for Experiments


Professor David Wield, Director of the ESRC Innogen Centre

Dr Ian Fotheringham, President of Ingenza

15.30-16.15 Could Scotland, the country which gave the world “Dolly” the cloned sheep, potentially lead a new global revolution in the life sciences? Will the Scottish revolution be bio-based?

Chaired by Professor Joyce Tait, Scientific Advisor, ESRC Innogen Centre


Aidan Courtney, Chief Executive of Roslin Cells

Lilian Hamilton, Innovation Topic Leader at Scottish Enterprise

Further details