DIYbio things: Open source biology tools as platforms for hybrid knowledge production and scientific participation
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702235
DIYbio (Do It Yourself Biology) is a growing movement of scientists, hobbyists, artists, and tinkerers who practice biology outside of professional settings. In this paper, we present our work with several open source DIYbio tools, including OpenPCR and Pearl Blue Transilluminator, which can be used to test DNA samples for specific sequences. We frame these platforms as things that gather heterogeneous materials and concerns, and enable new forms of knowledge transfer. Working with these hybrid systems in professional and DIY settings, we conducted a workshop where non-biologists tested food products for genetic modifications. Our findings suggest new design directions at the intersection of biology, technology, and DIY: i) DIYbio platforms as rich tools for hybrid knowledge production; and ii) open source biology as a site for public engagement with science.