8th Annual Symposium: Outlaw Biology? Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio
The Eight Annual ISG Symposium
Citizen Science | DIY Biology | Nano Hacking | At-Home Clinical Research | Recreational Genetics | Synthetic Biology | Open Source Science | Ars Synthetica | Genetic Art
“Outlaw Biology? Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio” is a symposium exploring new forms of biological and engineering research and new forms of participation, open science and do it yourself biology.
Gaymon Bennett (SynBERC and Ars-Synthetica.net, Berkley,)
Jason Bobe (DIYBio.org + The Personal Genome Project, Cambridge, MA)
Roger Brent (F. Hutchison Cancer Center, Seattle)
Phil Lukeman (Cal Poly Pomona)
Hugh Rienhoff (MyDaughtersDNA.org, Berkeley)
Meredith Patterson (Belgium)
Victoria Vesna (Art/Science, UCLA DMA, Los Angeles)
Christopher Kelty (UCLA ISG, Los Angeles)
A symposium exploring new forms of public participation in biological research, raising questions and cultivating ideas about how life could and should be studied. Panelists will address issues including do-it-yourself biology, open source science, at home medical genetics, bio-art, and novel ethical engagements with science at the cutting edge. Event schedule includes: Friday, a panelist discussion with artists, scientists and normal people; Saturday, workshops and an open-house exhibition throughout.
Today the life sciences are blooming with possibility. The Human Genome Project is at an end, but the answers it promised remain elusive. Older models of gene action and genetic determinism are crumbling, even as huge pharmaceutical corporations and federally funded university laboratories—Big Bio—continue to drive the research agenda. But just past the frontiers of law and order, a handful of outsiders are trying to remake biology in radical new ways. Synthethetic Biology, DIY Biology, recreational genetics, nanobiotechnology, open source science, patient-driven clinical research, bio-art all in their own ways are challenging Big Bio, and inviting you, the public, to participate.
But can “outlaw biology” really have an effect? What can a band of do-it-yourself biologists teaching themselves to do gel electrophoresis at home really accomplish? Can synthetic and nano-bio engineering cure malaria, as they claim, or just make yogurt glow? Who is “the public” and is it really involved in a meaningful way? What’s good—or bad—about customizing genetic research to explore forgotten diseases or rare disorders? Can the model that made open source software a success also work in biology? Can artists teach biologists a few things about life, or biologists teach artists something about making? When biology is outlawed, will only outlaws do biology?
Friday, January 29, 2010