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CRG at the 12th Barcelona Science Festival


Fri, 15/06/2018 - 13:26

CRG at the 12th Barcelona Science Festival

The Ciutadella Park hosted last weekend the Barcelona Science Festival and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) participated again in this annual event.

230 different activities with more than 430 sessions from 160 institutions made up the 12th edition of the Barcelona Science Festival, which was a meeting point between research, innovation and society. This year over 20,000 people got to know the latest discoveries as well as classic and fundamental questions in science.

Public engagement professionals together with CRG researchers organised five different activities addressed to all types of audiences. “All our activities are based on the dialogue between science and society. The Barcelona Science Festival brings us a fantastic opportunity to share our science and knowledge but also to be open to new ideas and questions from the general public. This two-sided conversation is essential if we want our research to be receptive to the demands of our society”, stated Marta Solís, Public Engagement Officer at the CRG.

On Saturday afternoon, scientists from different research programmes and facilities showed their science in a Petri dish. This interactive activity allowed participants to play and discover phylogenetic trees thanks to Marina Marcet-Houben from the Comparative Genomics lab. After meeting Ruben Sebastián from the Reprogramming and Regeneration lab, they could learn where to find pluripotent stem cells in a human body. Martina Pesaresi, from the same lab, explained the molecular mechanisms of the retina regeneration with funny rag dolls and Eduard Sabidó, head of the Protemics Unit challenged them to find out how mass spectrometers work to identify and measure proteins.

A few meters away, other people were contributing to test and to improve the new board game from the Saca La Lengua project. This citizen science project is currently developing a board game about the microbiome through co-creation and in an open and participatory way. “It has been absolutely revealing to gather together people with many different backgrounds, interests and areas of expertise to build something linked to Saca La Lengua”, explained Elisabetta Broglio, CRG citizen science facilitator and Saca La Lengua project manager. “The Science Festival was the perfect occasion to test our board game. The comments, reactions and experience from all those play testers willing to have fun, were absolutely useful”, she added.

There was time for ethical and scientific debates too. Sílvia Pérez-Lluch, from the Computational Biology of RNA Processing lab, together with the IDIBAPS researcher and CRG Alumni Cristina Fillat and the journalist Milagros Pérez Oliva, had a very interesting debate on the Promises of the gene therapy and new genome editing techniques. 

On Sunday, Ruggero Cortini from the Genome Architecture lab gave a short talk titled “The genome in 3D”. People attending his talk were absolutely fascinated by this new scientific approach, which tries to better understand gene expression through the three-dimensional organisation of the genome.

Finally, the Barcelona IGEM team (UPF and CRG) offered a fun workshop on synthetic biology and DNA extraction.


We had a lot of fun! Looking forward to seeing you there next year!