Responsible science for do-it-yourself biologists

June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC: Remember chemistry sets, ham radio, amateur astronomy, and early computing? Well, now it is biology's turn. Today, over 2,000 people from around the world belong to the Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) community, working on everything from microbial fuel cells, low-cost lab equipment, environmental surveillance, personal bio-monitoring, to new treatments for diseases.

The Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center is partnering with DIYbio.org, on a project to ensure safety within the rapidly expanding community of amateur biologists. The project is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and will seek to promote innovation and education within the DIYbio community while ensuring safe science.

"The DIYbio community is positioned better than any other organization to develop a positive culture around citizen science and to 'set the pattern' for best practices worldwide by establishing a code of ethics, developing norms for safety, and creating shared resources for amateur biologists," Said Jason Bobe, co-founder of DIYbio.org.

The project will identify relevant biosafety guidance and work with members to distill that information into user-friendly guidelines. In addition, basic codes of conduct will be developed, discussed, and disseminated in the community. "The goal is to grow a safety culture from within the DIYbio community though information sharing, discussion, and mentoring," said David Rejeski, Director of the Synthetic Biology Project at the Wilson Center.
-end-
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the national, living memorial honoring President Woodrow Wilson. In providing an essential link between the worlds of ideas and public policy, the Center addresses current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world. The Center promotes policy-relevant research and dialogue to increase understanding and enhance the capabilities and knowledge of leaders, citizens, and institutions worldwide. Created by an Act of Congress in 1968, the Center is a nonpartisan institution headquartered in Washington, D.C. and supported by both public and private funds. The Center's Science and Technology Innovation Program brings new tools to bear on public policy challenges resulting from innovations in science and technology.

DIYbio.org was founded in 2008 and aims to help make biology a worthwhile pursuit for citizen scientists and amateur biologists. DIYbio is fast becoming the organizational hub for amateur biologists worldwide, uniting the movement's participants through its website, online forums, blog and local chapters.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars/Science and Technology Innovation Program

Related Education Articles from Brightsurf:

Applying artificial intelligence to science education
A new review published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching highlights the potential of machine learning--a subset of artificial intelligence--in science education.

Dementia education
School-based dementia education could deliver much needed empathy and understanding for older generations as new research from the University of South Australia shows it can significantly improve dementia knowledge and awareness among younger generations.

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.

Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.

How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.

Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Read More: Education News and Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.