Oscillator's Christina Agapakis blogs about projects, like DIYbio, "that aim to 'democratize' scientific research." While she acknowledges that DIYbio has spurred growth in scientific participation and "unparalleled" enthusiasm, she asks, "Who is benefitting from the push for DIYbio?... Who can afford to do unpaid work in the first place, not to even mention self-funded research in molecular biology?" Agapakis says that DIYbio might actually perpetuate social divisions in science in its efforts to dismantle them. "Science isn't and shouldn't be the sport of the privileged," she writes, adding that anyone can do science, and while "garage biotechnologists and grad school dropouts will likely come up with powerful technologies and perhaps even empires to rival those of Microsoft, Apple, and Google," for science to be "truly democratic," emphasis should be placed on open, shared work within institutions across "academic or industrial barriers."
Garage Biology Bad for Science?
Mar 24, 2010