SCIence outreach: The example of BIObanks in Europe
December 15, 2022 - June 14, 2025
NCSR budget: 53,539€
Biobanks have become an increasingly important means of biomedical research and innovation. It represents a significant pillar of predictive, preventive and personalised medicine approach to patient health care and contributes to the early diagnosis and best treatments, for the past 20 years.
However, the success of biobanks depends on the willingness and trust of large numbers of individuals and diverse communities to researchers access to detailed medical and genetic information. Institutions worldwide have recognised the value and benefits of community engagement in health prevention, research and policy initiatives. Donating tissue samples and personal data for unknown research purposes at the time where data and samples are collected is one of the main characteristics of biobanking research. This requires that all volunteers are aware of the benefits and the contribution of biobanking to bettering the lives of all, as well as of the aims of biobanking in order to demonstrate confidentiality and trust in the procedures.
Nowadays, despite these identified needs and challenges, there is a lack of awareness of public on the impact that biobanks can have on their wellbeing. The ill-equipped scientists and students to build bonds of trust between themselves and the citizens and transfer their work to the general public are one of the main reasons for the absence of a well-informed public. That’s why the training and education they receive mainly focuses on the prediction of reproducible and solid research, rather than communicating their research results to the public and promoting social engagement. Also, they are not informed on how to spread the message through their social networks and sometimes they do not have the time or are confused about which is the best social means for dissemination.