Call for Papers: Session “Need for responsible biohacking?” at 17th Annual STS Conference Graz 2018 (07.–08.05.2018, Graz)

You are invited to submit paper proposals for the session “Need for responsible biohacking?” at the 17th Annual STS Conference Graz 2018 which will be held from 7th to 8th May 2018 in Graz, Austria.

DIY biology – sometimes dubbed as biohacking – has evolved as citizen science initiatives in many countries over the recent years. These groups encompass a wide spectrum – from garage labs with self-made laboratory appliances to semi-professional community laboratories.

According to their self-portraits, these initiatives are mainly non-profit, open-access and open-source oriented. Moreover, at least in the EU they still have to operate under national regulatory oversight and EU law. Recently concerns have been raised that the novel methods  of genome editing would greatly enhance what could be done in DIY biology labs – implying potential biosafety and biosecurity issues while operating under the radar of regulatory oversight. The panel aims to portrait this community (actors, aims, activities, diversity of groups) by drawing on inputs from STS researchers and from members of the biohacking community. The main question to investigate is if genome editing did or could possibly enhance their activities and if so – if there is a need of mandatory of voluntary standards for the DIY biology community. A visit to a biohacker’s lab in Graz will be organised.

The deadline for submissions is January 19, 2018.

For more information, check the full list of sessions of the track “Life Scienes and Biotechnology”.