COVID-19 VACCINE AND GENETIC ENGINEERING: UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN PISA ADDRESS “BIO[TECHNO]LOGY (EVENT)” THROUGH DOCUMENTARY FILMS, LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS DISCUSSING FAKE NEWS WITH SCIENTISTS AND EXPERTS FROM SEPTEMBER 28TH TO OCTOBER IST, 2020
The spread of the new Coronavirus and the need for a vaccine against Covid-19 has triggered an accelerated development of genetic engineering. In addition, the global spread of COVID-19 has been accompanied by what the World Health Organization has described as a “massive infodemic” – i.e. fake news and misinformation. In Pisa, scientists and students (from the University of Pisa, Sant’Anna School and Scuola Normale Superiore), attempt to counter misinformation.
Experts working on the “Bio[Techno]Logy Project”, will respond to queries about Covid-19 during the “Bio[Techno]Logy Event” in-person or online interactive workshops through the Webex platform. From September 28 to Thursday October 1st, scientists will make their expertise on biotechnology and advanced genetic engineering procedures available to the public.
The “Bio[Techno]Logy” event speakers will incude Andrea Grignolio (Universitày San Raffaele, Milan), Rino Rappuoli (Gsk Vaccines, Siena), Marzio Sisti (Patto Trasversale per la Scienza, Piacenza), Luigi Cattivelli (CREA _ Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria, Fiorenzuola d’Arda), Pierdomenico Perata (Sant’Anna School ), and Deborah Piovan (Associazione Cibo per la Mente, Padova).
The Bio[TECHNO]logy event opens on September 28, 5.00 pm with the documentary film "Food Evolution" at the cinema Arsenale – Pisa. On September 30 and October 1st, 6.00 pm, keynote online lectures from scientists and industry experts will focus on the clinical safety and efficacy of future Covid-19 vaccine and new genetic methods.
Students of the University of Pisa, Sant’Anna School and Scuola Normale Superiore are engaged in interactive lectures offered to high school students on agricultural biotechnology and the effects of climate change for quality enhanced crops and nutritionally-enriched foods. They highlighted the role of science in addressing global issues: “Sharing scientific work and expertise, and engaging with the public, is increasingly important now. We want to improve public understanding of the pandemic and, most importantly, of vaccine and genetic engineering as they can save lives. Experts will help respond to the knowledge gaps around the vaccine as an urgent issue to resolve. We have organized this event as part of the global efforts to give access to the most difficult scientific challenge in the current coronavirus pandemic context in Europe and around the world. The ‘Biotech Week’, sponsored by Assobiotec (Italian Association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and organizations working on Biotechnology Innovation), aims to raise awareness and share information from trusted sources.”
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