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Myths & Realities of the DIYbio Movement

Join us at the Wilson Center on Nov. 19 for the release of the survey results and analysis, “Seven Myths and Realities about Do-It-Yourself Biology,” and a panel discussion.

Date & Time

Nov. 19, 2013
11:55am – 2:00pm

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Myths & Realities of the DIYbio Movement

As the do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) community has grown, so have concerns about the ability of these amateur scientists to wield DNA and manipulate life. In the words of one Wall Street Journal headline, “In Attics and Closets, ‘Biohackers’ Discover their Inner Frankenstein.”

But in a first-ever survey of the DIYbio community, the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars finds the community is far more innocuous than news reports and others might suggest.

The report challenges seven widely held beliefs about DIYbio practitioners, particularly that anonymous scientists are cooking up deadly epidemics in their basements. In fact, the survey finds most lab work being done in the community is benign and that the vast majority of those surveyed perform their experiments in group workspaces with other enthusiasts. The report also includes six policy recommendations based on the survey results. 

The report can be downloaded here: http://bit.ly/I10Esr


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Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) brings foresight to the frontier. Our experts explore emerging technologies through vital conversations, making science policy accessible to everyone.  Read more

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