The World Biotech Tour (WBT), organized by ASTC and the Biogen Foundation, will journey to five countries on three continents in 2017, bringing the total number of WBT stops to 12. Each WBT stop hosts a science festival centering on biotechnology, and student ambassadors at each site research and present a biotechnology topic and facilitate Lab-in-a-Box activities.
At the ASTC 2016 opening session this morning, Gena Renfrow of the Biogen Foundation announced the final five WBT stops and recognized a representative from each site:
- Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland (represented by Robert Firmhofer)
- Domus, Museos Científicos Coruñeses, A Coruña, Spain (represented by Patricia Barciela)
- Heureka, the Finnish Science Centre, Vantaa, Finland (represented by Tapio Koivu)
- Museu da Vida–Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (represented by Diego Vaz Bevilaqua)
- Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa (represented by Tebogo Gule).
The new sites join the seven other WBT stops: Miraikan–National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo; Pavilion of Knowledge–Ciência Viva, Lisbon, Portugal; and Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre, Mechelen, Belgium (the WBT 2015 cohort) and Montréal Science Centre, Quebec, Canada; National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, Milan, Italy; National Science Museum Thailand, Pathumthani; and Scitech, Perth, Australia (the WBT 2016 cohort). Two museums in the 2016 cohort will be holding festivals in the next several months: the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci (September 30 to October 2, 2016) and Montréal Science Centre (mid-2017).
Before announcing the new sites, Renfrow interviewed Aphiya Hathayatham, vice president of the National Science Museum Thailand, who called the WBT a “good model for STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] education” and “an eye- and mind-opener for biotechnology.”
“All of us here today want young people around the world to know that science is fun, science is for everyone, and you can change the world through science,” said Renfrow. “That’s why ASTC and Biogen are working together to bring the World Biotech Tour to 12 science centers across the globe.”
In addition to the 12 scheduled stops on the tour over the three years of the program, all museums have access to resources necessary to host their own event, free of charge, on the WBT website.
About the image: Gena Renfrow of the Biogen Foundation (right) interviews Aphiya Hathayatham of the National Science Museum Thailand. Photo by Wayne MacPhail