Frequently Asked Questions
Safety and security are often among the first concerns when people encounter DIYBio. Should such a powerful technology be in the hands of amateurs? Can these funky hackers be trusted?
Although uncontrolled and unregulated biotechnology sounds very dangerous, most DIYBio groups are in an active dialogue with regulators, inspections and law enforcement. Just like every individual DIYBiologist are bound to respect the law. In the EU many are already in place to protect public health and the environment.
There is no application process or official authority that gets to say whom or what DIYBio is. One becomes part of DIYBio by self-proclamation. Introducing yourself to the existing community helps getting recognized.
A "Code of Ethics" for DIYBio can be found on diybio.org. In reality it does not really mean anyhting. It is the result of a top down orchestrated project and created by a non-representative small group many years ago. There are plenty of examples of individuals and projects that have acted against the code, including the delegates that created the code themselves. There is no enforcement, governing organisation or repercussion for those acting. Adhering to the superficial code is completely voluntary.
The term hacking can be understood as illegal accessing computers. It is also used to refer to a culture of playful and clever interactions with technology in an attempt to alter the behavior of the subject at hand into something it was not designed for or capable in the first place. This practice and culture is furthermore characterized by knowledge sharing and an hostility to secrecy and authority. It found its way into mainstream society through the manifestation of hackathons.
In case you are an active participant in the DIYBio scene none of the information presented here is new to you. This website is intended for an audience that is new to DIYBio and in a need for information.
The webpage diybio.org is a community hub that addresses the needs of people in the DIYBio scene. This website contains information for people that are new to DIYBio.
We are well aware of the fact that the EU is not equal to Europe. Nonetheless, we use the EU flag as a symbol for a (future) united Europe.