Domesticating and democratizing science: A geography of do-it-yourself biology

Domesticating and democratizing science: A geography of do-it-yourself biology

Morgan Meyer

Journal of Material Culture, vol. 18, n. 2 (Juin 2013) : pp. 117-134

Abstract: By turning private homes and community spaces into sites where biological experimentation can be carried out, do-it-yourself biology promises a democratization of science. This democratization is based upon material processes: efforts to increase the affordability, accessibility and mutability of scientific equipment can be observed. In particular, do-it-yourself biology relies on ‘creative workarounds’ around objects (to transform and combine them in novel ways) and institutions (to circumvent established university–industry business linkages).

By tinkering with objects and sharing knowledge via various communicative devices – websites, blogs, wikis, forums, videos – do-it-yourself biologists aim to create a new, collective and open economy of scientific equipment and render biology more accessible to citizens. A distinct form of individuality is constituted by providing people with access, transforming them into active makers of science, making their bodies/ailments more knowable and demonstrating that one can do it oneself. Do-it-yourself biology thus offers a site for exploring the ethics, boundaries and new forms of sociability for biology.

Lien permanent : http://mcu.sagepub.com/content/18/2/117.short

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