Open Wetlab at the Science Museum

Our Open Wetlab and it's founder, Pieter van Boheemen, are part of an exhibition at the Science Museum in London, called 'Beyond the Lab: The DIY Science Revolution', that opens on 7 July 2016. Newspaper The Guardian already wrote an interesting article about the upcoming exhibition: Citizen science: how the net is changing the role of amateur researchers.

Also, have a look at this animation that was made for the exhibition.

We quote from the article:

"The exhibition will feature the work of seven European scientists conducting urgent research with cutting-edge applications, with the significant additional factor that most of the individuals at the heart of the projects are not, in the purest sense, scientists.

The exhibition, which is part of the EU’s citizen science awareness-raising programme Sparks, focuses on biological innovations, specifically in the realm of health and medicine, and showcases developments from Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Some are group startups – Pieter van Boheemen’s open biology laboratory in Amsterdam, for instance – while others are solo initiatives, such as Sara Riggare’s long-term, self-examination project to tackle her own Parkinson’s disease."

"According to Louis Buckley, however, the exhibition’s project leader, “the possibilities for taking science into your own hands are greater than ever”. This is due in large part to the internet, which has provided access to swaths of research and educational resources, while fostering groups of curious and like-minded autodidacts.

“There’s a whole world of people who self-identify as bio-hackers or DIY biologists,” says Buckley, and that world is represented, in the exhibition, by the story of Pieter van Boheemen’s laboratory in Amsterdam. The Open WetLab is an unusually ambitious community science workshop, welcoming hobbyists, students, artists, amateurs, the retired and anyone else keen to turn their hand to “creative biotechnology”. The small facility is kitted out with secondhand instruments and homemade apparatus, but van Boheemen believes it can produce meaningful results, even in the search for new antibiotics.

The story of van Boheemen’s lab forms part of DIY Biology, one of three sections into which the exhibition is divided. The other two sections deal with citizen-science projects and stories of patients’ innovation. Citizen science, in which the public takes part in large-scale data-gathering experiments – annual butterfly counts, online astronomy surveys, etc – is perhaps the best known version of non-professional scientific activity, with thousands of participants in the UK alone."