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

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.
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00835331
Contributor : Morgan Meyer <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 2:22:30 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 7:42:02 PM

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Morgan Meyer. Domesticating and democratizing science: a geography of do-it-yourself biology. Journal of Material Culture, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2013, 18 (2), pp.117-134. ⟨10.1177/1359183513483912⟩. ⟨hal-00835331⟩

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