Science communication

VIB develops and distributes a broad range of educational material for a variety of target groups, including politicians, the media, teachers, youth and the broader Flemish public. A complete overview (only in Dutch) can be found on the VIB website. The website received approximately 265,417 visitors in 2012.

In consultation with our partner universities, VIB distributed 40 press releases in 2012. These were sent to both national and international media. In total, VIB was 621 times in the media spotlight last year.

For specific biotech-related questions, anyone can contact VIB via the Website, or by email, letter or telephone. By sending an email to patiënteninfo*Replace*With*At*Sign*, patients and their relatives and friends can ask questions about press releases. Each question will receive a personal answer backed up by  science-based facts and data. In 2012, we received 145 such questions. Another 471 general questions about biotech and its applications reached us via info@vib.

VIB also holds lectures about its research and technology transfer activities for a variety of different target groups. In 2012, VIB organized 40 such lectures, attended by 3,942 people.

VIB has developed several brochures about biotech topics. These are available via the VIB website (Dutch) or can be requested free of charge. In 2012, more than 15,322 brochures were distributed.

VIB also prepared three background documentation files in 2012, which are part of a series (Facts Series). One file deals with flu. In it, VIB provides an update of what we know about the flu virus and the weapons we have or will have in the future to protect ourselves against it. The second file describes the cultivation of Bt cotton in India and its impact on the living standard of Indian farmers. A third file provides an analysis of the study by Gilles-Eric Séralini et al. (in Food and Chemical Toxicology) about the alleged effects of genetically modified maize and Roundup herbicide on the health of rats.