Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Talk by Denisa Kera: DIYbio in Asia April 8th~!

DIYbio in Asia:
The Ethics and Aesthetics of Global Flows of Data, Kits and Protocols

Dr. Denisa Kera
Assistant Professor
Communications and New Media Programme, National University of Singapore

8th April 2011
12.30pm- 1.30pm
Symposium Room 2 & 3
Level 1, Block MD 11, Clinical Research Centre, 10 Medical Drive, S (117597)
*Attendees can bring their own sandwich lunch.

Direct to consumer (DTC) genomics, Bioart, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and Do-It-With-Others (DIWO) biotech subcultures like DIYbio and DIYgenomics, garage biotechnology and novel forms of co-working spaces and labs present an alternative approach to innovation and research outside of the academia and industry walls. Various forms of grassroot and open source models and activities applied to emergent biosciences present a trend that is challenging the meaning of science dissemination, communication and popularization but also policy. These “popular” forms of science research related to Hackerspaces and science community labs around the world connect directly politics with design, community building with prototype testing, and offer an experimental approach for discussing issues of ethics, policy and innovation.  Communities of people monitoring, sharing and making sense of various “scientific” data and practices in their everyday lives are exploring new and unexpected global networks around low-tech biotechnologies and biomedicine. The low-tech strategies are making possible a global “pop” biotech movement that is spreading from the USA to Indonesia and Philippines. It paradoxically refers back to EU based squat cultures and art and science centers as much as to the American spirit of entrepreneurship. This global biotech underground is converging in the informal networks between ASIA, USA and EU that enable very different flows of knowledge and expertise from the official biotech industry. What are the various forms of citizen science projects, consumer genomics services and various DIYbio initiatives? What challenges these consumer and citizen oriented activities pose to bioethics? How they operate on the global level and what type of exchanges are we starting to witness between continents and cultures? How to describe these new models of research that involve various local communities in the R&D process? What perspectives does this offer to the developing world where low-tech can have a “high-impact”?


Denisa Kera  is Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore where she teaches courses on interactive media design and new media theory.  Her current research brings together Science Technology Society (STS) studies and interactive media design. She focuses on DIYbio movements in USA and Asia, consumer genomics services on web 2.0 and various forms of emergent “pop” biotech a citizen science projects. She has extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions and projects related to art, technology and science: ENTER3 http://www.enter3.org, "Artists in Labs" and "TransGenesis: festival of biotechnology and art" http://www.transgenesis.cz in 2006 and 2007.



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