Increasing tinkerability – explaining DIYbio

image from was with my father this Thanksgiving and he asked me about "that Biology thing" I've been getting involved in. He's known for some time that I've been increasingly focused on science in the past few years and that, with my move back to the Boston area, I've been meeting up with scientists and biohackers.

I explained to him what Synthetic Biology and DIYbiology were all about. I showed him my video of my last DIYbio activity, who were the characters involved, what the impact has been so far.

Being a biz guy, he kept asking me what was the "end goal," to help him wrap his head around what would motivate folks to tinker with Biology. He wanted to know if there was a scientific goal or if there were products folks wanted to build.

After a long circular discussion, he finally realized that the field was so nascent that, really, the goal was to "increase the tinkerability" of Biology. 

Of course, that conclusion is filtered through my view of where these areas are at. Right now, engineers and non-institutional biologists are mostly focused on simplifying and domesticating Biology. Issues like science and products will arise naturally as the accessibility and malleability of biological systems increases.

What do you think? Do you think that's an appropriate assessment?

Image from Matt Biddulph

1 Comment

  1. I think that about sums it up. From what I’m seeing synthetic biology is about making tools to make biology easier and accessible. Asking for an end goal would be like asking what languages are good for.
    I like the term ‘increasing tinkerability.’ Maybe it should be what every diybio-ers need to say when people ask what they are doing.

Comments are closed.