Manifesto

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Candidate for the position of Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology Society - President

Image for Kalyan Ghadiyaram

Kalyan Ghadiyaram

Finding Community in Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology

 

 

The KCL biotechnology and synthetic biology society has been a home for me over the past two years and over that time, I have felt loved and cared for by a community of individuals from a diverse set of STEM backgrounds passionate about biology’s potential to help make our world a better place. I want to now help give that love forward as the President of the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology society. My aim for the 2022-2023 year revolves around three major goals; academic diversity, inclusivity and community. 

 

AIMS for the 2022-2023 year

 

  1. Emphasize the academic diversity of synthetic biology

 

The KCL Biotechnology and Synthetic biology society is only three years old and yet, we have proven the importance of biotechnology and synthetic biology by our ever growing numbers, our society achievements and our vibrant and active community. For the next year, I want to emphasize the diversity of STEM subjects within synthetic biology by helping to organize events that revolve around the interdisciplinary nature of synthetic biology. Our society is made up of a diverse set of academic backgrounds including the faculty of life science, department of chemistry, school of biomedical engineering & imaging sciences and more. I want there to be more opportunities for us to learn from one another and from our diverse fields to ensure the continued success of our society. 

 

Goals Summary

  • Incorporate more talks that are inherently interdisciplinary. Talks related to topics such as:

    • Prosthetics and synthetic biology

    • The use of biotechnology in chemical manufacturing

    • The experience of researchers and clinicians who work in multidisciplinary teams. 

  • Additionally, I want to make more career events that emphasize opportunities for students to work in explicitly synthetic biology environments. 

    • Startups that work in novel synthetic biology and entrepreneurship

    • Research teams who are working in the realm of biological research from an industry perspective

    • Clinicians and therapeutics groups that work with entrepreneurial stakeholders to create cures to disease. 








 

  1. Inclusion of more under-represented groups in our talks and society initiatives

From the WiSTEM event of KCL synthbio 2022, it is clear that women, POC and the LGBTQIA+ community are live and present in synthetic biology. This year building on this momentum of our 2021-2022 inclusivity events, we have the opportunity to look for more of these researchers from under-represented backgrounds. I want this society to become a platform where students, scientists, entrepreneurs and engineers can come together and discuss ideas openly and be exposed to the diversity inherent to the field of synthetic biology and biotechnology. 

 

Goals summary

  • The active search for researchers from under-represented backgrounds in STEM

  • Fundraising events throughout the year that focus on improving our local community and support the hopes and dreams of individuals from minority groups, under-represented backgrounds in STEM.

  • Social and well-being events that allow for individuals from minority backgrounds to speak about their experiences in university and provide a feeling of community that can help support them throughout their university experience. 

 

  1. Wellbeing and community at the heart of our society

What I want most from this society is to emphasize the idea that in synthetic biology you can belong. It is such a vast field that if you have a drive and a passion for engineering, science and humanity, there will always be a place for you in synthetic biology. To do this I really want to improve the community aspect of our society. I want this place to become a forum where individuals can more easily interact with the committee and feel heard in a welcoming space. 

 

Goals Summary

  • For the 2022-2023 year, I wish to trial a forum where every month, members and committee meet together and talk about what they want from the society this month. Members can say what they would like out of the society for the month and the committee can discuss how to tailor the society to the needs of the community. 

  • There is also a need for more wellbeing events. These can be in the form of casual tea talks or more elaborate activities such as hiking trips and society activities!

  • Additionally, the mentorship scheme shows that we can also provide student-led guidance on university life and internships. While bolstering the mentorship scheme for next year, we can also provide internships newsletters earlier in the year and have group discussions related to course choices and more!


 

My Vision for the Future

I hope for a future for our society where the KCL Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology society becomes a hub where individuals from all sorts of academic and personal backgrounds come together and discuss new revolutionary ideas that utilize biology in its most dynamic forms. I want to see more engagement from our members and more choice in what they get to experience as society members. Thank you so much for reading my manifesto and I am excited to serve you as president next year for the KCL Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology society.