Progress

The group is currently working on a scoping report on a “DIY Biology Research Proposal”, which will analyse the global DIY Biology landscape. This activity is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation for a 12-months period June 2018-June 2019.

The group is aiming to produce a report on the prospects, risks, and opportunities around DIY Synthetic Biology. Additionally, the group is exploring the development of a potential online course on bioethics and biosafety for non-scientists, DIY biologists, and biohackers.

Outcomes

2019

Working group co-lead Bartlomiej Kolodziejczyk (Australia) and the group’s external research assistant Khalisah Zulkefli took part in a preparatory workshop meeting on STI for the UN SDGs in Bangkok, Thailand, in February 2019. They presented on synthetic biology and gene drives. See here for more information.

Working group co-lead Bartlomiej Kolodziejczyk (Australia) recently acted as a co-lead author for the section on “Synthetic Biology: Re-engineering the environment” in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Frontiers publication on “Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern”.

2018

GYA and working group members Bart KolodziejczykAlexander Kagansky, John MaloneClarissa Rios Rojas, Sandra Lopez Verges organized a panel session on the “Do-it-yourself biology movement in Latin America as a driving force of innovation and entrepreneurship” at CILAC 2018 (Open Science Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean). More information on this panel here.

Working group member John Malone (USA) represented the group at the 2018 UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation in New York City, USA, in June 2018, where he served as a panellist at the side event on “Implications of emerging biotechnologies in the context of biological diversity: multi-stakeholder perspectives on the risks and benefits”. The event was organized by the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies – Editing Nature, Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley and the UN Major Group for Children and Youth to discuss the role of gene editing and gene drive technologies in making progress towards the UN SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

Working group co-lead Bartlomiej Kolodziejczyk (Australia) presented a science policy brief on Do-it-yourself biology: an open innovation movement or a threat? at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs expert group meeting on accelerated technological change and policy implications for the UN SDGs in Mexico in April 2018.

2017

Two members of the group contributed to a G20 policy brief on “Consolidated G20 synthetic biology policies and their role in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

The group organised a policy Hackathon which took place before the International Workshop on “Assessing the Security Implications of Genome Editing Technology” organised by the the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC), the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in October 2017. The resulting policy briefs and policy recommendations will be published soon.