Have you ever wondered how we could lay the foundation for a more inclusive and diverse scientific field?

In an era characterized by dynamic transformations in social, economic, and technological progress, there is an imperative need to provide unbiased accessibility to information. Despite the rapid scientific and technological development, there is still much progress to be made in terms of ensuring inclusivity to knowledge and creating equal opportunities for groups of people who are still working to establish their rights within our society. Therefore, our ethical responsibility is to take the necessary steps for our project to reach out to diverse social groups and maximize its overall impact on our world. This is why we aimed to raise awareness among the scientific community about how every individual, regardless of cultural and economic background, ethnicity, gender, age, and health condition, may contribute to the progress of our society.

Reaching out to people with visual impairments:

Comic “Why did the pancreas escape?” in Braille:

In our endeavor to extend the reach of our project within the broader social sphere in an interesting and comprehensible manner, our team has proactively engaged with special social groups and specifically, individuals with visual impairments. This initiative has led to creating a braille version of our comic, a medium designed to convey the importance of our project in a simplified yet emotional way. By rendering our comic in braille, our primary aim is to facilitate the engagement with scientific knowledge for those with such health conditions. Through this effort, we aspire to elevate awareness regarding equitable access to scientific information, thus reducing the disparities and bridging the gap between these social groups and the broader community. Moreover, we have promoted the distribution of the Braille comic as an educational resource in schools with blind children, thereby contributing to a more inclusive learning environment that recognizes and respects the equal rights of all individuals to knowledge.

Catering our color palette to the needs of people with color vision deficiency.

Color vision deficiency is a visual impairment that affects a person's ability to perceive specific colors accurately. This condition represents a significant hindrance for many people and for many researchers working on colored-based analysis. Consequently, we opted to utilize a specific color scheme for our wiki design and the overall graphics throughout our journey. We chose two colors, specifically #081530 and #d69453, similar to the discernible colors for individuals with various color vision deficiencies, ensuring complete accessibility to our project's and research information.

Collaboration with iGEM Bits Goa 2023 team

Epidemiological statistics of pancreatic cancer and lung cancer in Greece and India, respectively, based on gender.

In collaboration with the iGEM Bits Goa team (which focuses on lung cancer therapy), we decided to gather statistics on the incidence of pancreatic cancer in Greece and statistics on the incidence of lung cancer in India, respectively, based on parameters such as gender and geographical location. Our goal was to explain how socioeconomic status influences the occurrence of a disease. Regarding Greece, we found that the incidence of pancreatic cancer is slightly higher in women than in men, although insufficient evidence supports this. However, globally, the incidence of pancreatic cancer is higher in men than women. Among several factors responsible for pancreatic cancer, smoking is responsible for approximately 20% of cases.[1] It may partly explain the different incidences of pancreatic cancer between the two genders worldwide, as more than one-third of men worldwide smoke and less than one in ten women worldwide do.[2]

As for the cases of lung cancer in India among men, lung cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosis, with approximately 1.2 million cases in 2012. Incidence rates are generally lower among women, with about 583,000 new lung cancer diagnoses in 2012. The geographical variations for incidence and mortality differ between men and women, primarily attributed to geographical differences in cigarette smoking between the two sexes. Across several Indian studies, most patients had poor educational status, with as many as 54.7% being either illiterate or educated up to the primary level only. The prevalence of smoking in most Indian studies (80%) is lower than most Western data, which have reported smoking prevalence between 87% and 93%. This observation supports the possibility of other contributing factors in lung cancer etiology, such as genetic predisposition, passive smoking, air pollution, and biomass fuel commonly used in rural India. [3],[4]

Health Campaigns on Social Media

Our team, driven by ethical motives such as empathy, awareness, and solidarity, created posts for special days requiring significant attention and serving as a social reminder and mobilization. We aimed, in some way, to broaden the concept of social awareness to ensure equal rights for all individuals in the global community.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science, February 11th

On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we wanted to create a post to highlight the important participation of women in science and their equal rights in knowledge and progress. Specifically, in this publication, we honored the achievements of pioneering women in Synthetic Biology and Medicine. Some of these women include Marie Curie (Discovery of Radiation and the elements Radium and Polonium), Esther Lederberg (Lambda Bacteriophage discovery), Barbara McClintock (Mobile Genetic Elements discovery), Daisy Roulland-Dussax (Restriction Enzymes discovery), Rosalind Franklin (DNA Structure discovery), Elizabeth Helen Blackburn (Discovery of the Enzyme Telomerase), Tu Youyou (Therapy Artemisinin for Malaria), Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier (discovery of CRISPR-Cas9).[5]

International Childhood Cancer Day, February 15th

Over 400,000 children, teenagers, and young adults under 20 are diagnosed with cancer yearly. The survival rate depends on the region, with 80% survival in most high-income countries but as low as 20% only in low and middle-income countries. Despite the advances in medicine and medical technology, cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease for children past infancy [6]. On this occasion, our team wanted to emphasize the importance of equal access to healthcare for children, regardless of their geographical distribution and socioeconomic background. On World Childhood Cancer Day on February 15th, we created a post to underline the importance of finding effective treatments for all types of pediatric cancer to defend the protection and health of children, regardless of their ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

International Women’s Day, March 8th

Despite progress in gender equality and growing interest over the last decade in computer science, engineering, math, and statistics among both men and women, the underrepresentation of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields continues to persist. In 2023, the gender gap in STEM remains significant, with women making up only 28% of the STEM workforce [7]. On International Women's Day on March 8th, we wanted to focus on the pivotal role of women in the progress, well-being, and advancement of society and emphasize the increasing effort to eliminate gender discrimination. Although many of us take gender equality for granted today, we must remain vigilant and intervene in any undermining actions against females. In the context of this day, we wanted to explain the STEM gap between men and women with a social media post from our team.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21st

On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21st, we created a post to underscore the importance of Equality for all individuals in a society, regardless of their social, economic, or political background. We must remain strong and condemn racist behaviors and attitudes plaguing our society. Hence, we wanted to honor the black scientists who changed the world through their contributions to science through our post on the team's social media. These individuals are Jane Wright, George Washington Carver, Percy Julian, Katherine Johnson, Gladys West, Marie M. Daly, Edward Bouchet, Annie Easley, Walter Lincoln Hawkins, Alexa Canady, Sang-Mook Lee, and Dinesh Palipana.[8],[9]

National Day Against Homophobia Biphobia & Transphobia, May 17th

The LGBTQ+ people are 17-21% less represented in STEM fields than expected. Based on this fact and on the National Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia / LGBTQ+ People in STEM on May 17th, we created a post to highlight the equality of individuals with different preferences in STEM fields, as it is essential to respect the diversity of people and their equal access in science. Our post mentions some LGBTQ+ people who have contributed to STEM fields. These individuals include Alan Hart, Sara Josephine Baker, Ben Barres, Alan Turing, Sally Ride, Lynn Conway, Chien-Shiung Wu, Lynn Margulis, Sophie Wilson, and Nergis Mavalvala.[10]

Cancer Survivors Day, June 4th

On the occasion of Cancer Survivor Day, observed annually on June 4th, our team had the honor to partake in a collaborative video project. This event afforded us a unique opportunity to gain profound insights into the stark realities of cancer. The central premise of the initiative involved each participating team conducting interviews with cancer patients or survivors, wherein they posed 2 to 3 pertinent questions. Subsequently, the organizing team amalgamated these questions to create comprehensive interviews.

This engagement exposed us to the harsh perspective of cancer from the patient's point of view, allowing us to comprehend its profound impact. It is worth noting that the interviews were not devoid of optimism, as the individual we conversed with had previously overcome cancer. This conveyed a message of hope and resilience to those currently battling with the disease.

Through our participation in this collaborative endeavor, our aim was to underscore the crucial message that no cancer patient stands alone. Our society is aware of the individuals' challenges, and we stand in solidarity with them during every difficult moment.

Project Promo Video Translation

In our effort to make the Project Promo Video of our team understandable and accessible to a wider audience, we collaborated with iGEM Toulouse to mutually translate our Project Promo Video. We translated their video into Greek, and they translated our video into French. In total, our team's Project Promo Video includes subtitles in English, Greek, French, and German. In launching this initiative, we aimed to provide access to our project for individuals from various places worldwide who are not proficient in the English language.


[1].Lynch, S. M., Vrieling, A., Lubin, J. H., Kraft, P., Mendelsohn, J. B., Hartge, P., Canzian, F., Steplowski, E., Arslan, A. A., Gross, M. D., Helzlsouer, K. J., Jacobs, E. J., LaCroix, A. Z., Petersen, G. M., Wang, Z., Albanês, D., Ámundadóttir, L. T., Bingham, S., Boffetta, P., . . . Stolzenberg‐Solomon, R. Z. (2009). Cigarette smoking and pancreatic cancer: A pooled analysis from the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium. American Journal of Epidemiology, 170(4), 403–413

[2].Ritchie, H. (2013, May 23). Smoking. Our World in Data.

[3].Lahoti, S., & Dixit, P. (2021). Declining trend of smoking and smokeless tobacco in India: A decomposition analysis. PLOS ONE, 16(2), e0247226.

[4].Schabath, M. B., Cress, W. D., & Muñoz-Antonia, T. (2016). Racial and ethnic differences in the epidemiology and genomics of lung cancer. Cancer Control, 23(4), 338–346.

[5].WhatisBiotechnology • The sciences, places and people that have created biotechnology. (n.d.).

[6].wordpressadmin. (n.d.). Home. ICCD.

[7].Jeferson.Zambrano. (2023, October 2). Women in Leadership Positions | MIT Professional Education. MIT Professional Education.

[8].Black Scientists Who Changed the World | The New York Public Library. (2017, February 8). The New York Public Library.

[9].Geist, M. (2019). Celebrating Black History Month with STEM Leaders! — TechPoint Foundation for Youth. TechPoint Foundation for Youth.

[10].LGBTQ+ people in STEM. (n.d.). National Museums Liverpool.