Biogen Idec Foundation and ASTC Aim to Educate Students about Biotechnology

BiotechThe Biogen Idec Foundation presented a $1.5 million grant to the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) to launch the World Biotech Tour. ASTC is an organization that represents almost 400 science centers and museums in the U.S. and 45 other countries. According to the two groups, the World Biotech Tour “aims to increase the impact and visibility of biotechnology among youth, the general public, and underserved communities to promote science literacy.” The tour will make its first three stops in Belgium, Portugal and Japan.

Tony Kingsley, Chairman of the Biogen Idec Foundation released a statement about the efforts. “The Biogen Idec Foundation is committed to furthering efforts that promote the drive, dedication, creativity and educational excellence of future scientists. With the growing need for developing tomorrow’s STEM workforce, we are glad to partner with the ASTC to help to achieve this goal.”

Bruce Compton, Ph.D. is a research professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering Biomanufacturing Center at the University of Massachusetts.  He has 25 years of experience in biologics and drug delivery and is an expert in separation sciences and product characterization. He discusses one of the issues with educating young students about biotechnology:

An issue with promoting biotech with the youth, as seen at science fairs is that the guidelines for creating a project often restrict the use of any animals or microbial subjects. I think this may be relatively fundamental given that by definition biotechnology involves some type of living organism or things derived from organisms.

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