Mackenzie Cowell BY-NC

DIYBio Europe meets COST

The European network of Do-It-Yourself Biologists (DIYBio) is growing. Apart from it's informal mailing list, it is exploring additional tentative meaningful purposes for it's existence. That's why the network was invited by the COST action on Tuesday October 15 in Brussels. 

COST stands for Cooperation in Science & Technology. The scientific members of this particular 'trans-domain action' were curious to find out whether this cooperation could be extended towards citizen science. 

As an introduction, the participants of the meeting presented the field of DIYBio from the perspective of groups from London, Paris, Lausanne and Waag's Open Wetlab. This revealed the broad spectrum of organizational structures, funding strategies and capacities with the DIYBio community, but highlighted the common goals and motivations at the same time. Especially the DIYBio Code of Ethics triggered the attending scientists to ask questions about the implementation and interpretation of such values at the local level. Such as whether the acceptance of American military funding by La Paillasse in Paris would comply with such an ethic framework.

As expected, it was concluded that COST and DIYBio Europe shared interest in crowd sourced science, open science and effective science communication. Hence the title of the meeting “A bottom-up approach to disseminate information for public attendance”. One question remained unresolved: how to combine the strive by DIYBio for independence of academia with the will to cooperate. This meeting was a first step in finding an answer.