The University of North Carolina Charlotte Center for Professional and Applied Ethics presents "The History of Politics of Distributed Biotechnology" featuring Alessandro Delfanti, Ph.D. as part of the Bioethics Resource Network's biohacking series. Delfanti is assistant professor of Culture and New Media at the University of Toronto. He researches digital labor and precarity, hacking and digital countercultures, and the political economy of science and technology. His publications include Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (Pluto Press, 2013).
Do-it-yourself biology groups, start ups and citizen biotech labs share the vision of a “distributed biotechnology” that includes amateurs and broadens life science research beyond the limits of institutional laboratories. This phenomenon is made possible by the availability of laboratory equipment and digital platforms designed to foster citizen contribution to biotechnology research. It differs from traditional forms of citizen science, as it draws on elements from hacker cultures and adopts molecular biology as its main scientific framework. By envisioning a biotechnology free from centralized control, open to public participation, based on market-like mechanisms and consumer-friendly, distributed biotechnology intersects with the broader political economy of science. While it affects the distribution of power within the life sciences, distributed biotechnology is geared towards the creation of new forms of value.
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Cone Building, Room 113
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223