As biological research is spread from corporate and university laboratories to hobbyists and unsupervised scientists, how do we manage biosafety and security risks?
With Insight Grant funding, McGill University professor Ruthanne Huising is undertaking a two-part study to help do-it-yourself (DIY) innovators become more aware of the biosafety and biosecurity risks of their experiments—and act accordingly. Huising will examine existing self-regulation in three Canadian DIY biology communities, asking: What materials do they use? How do they monitor and control substances that have a potential to endanger public health and security?
The second stage will involve field experiments aimed at influencing DIY biology practitioners to make safety and security practices part of their daily routines. Overall, the study will help regulators and practitioners adapt to the new world of open science while encouraging disruptive but responsible scientific innovation.
This grant is funded by SSHRC’s joint initiative with Genome Canada, Societal Implications of Genomics Research.