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Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science

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Biohackers explores fundamental changes occuring in the circulation and ownership of scientific information. Alessandro Delfanti argues that the combination of the ethos of 20th century science, the hacker movement and the free software movement is producing an open science culture which redefines the relationship between researchers, scientific institutions and commercial companies. Biohackers looks at the emergence of the citizen biology community ‘DIYbio’, the shift to open access by the American biologist Craig Venter and the rebellion of the Italian virologist Ilaria Capua against WHO data-sharing policies. Delfanti argues that these biologists and many others are involved in a transformation of both life sciences and information systems, using open access tools and claiming independence from both academic and corporate institutions.
Alessandro Delfanti is a postdoctoral fellow at Media@McGill in Montreal, where he works in the role of participatory media in biomedicine and teaches a seminar on Online Cooperation. He teaches Sociology of New Media at the University of Milan and is a member of the ICS group at SISSA, in Trieste. Dr. Delfanti is a journalist who writes about science and digital culture on several Italian newspapers and magazines. His first book is titled Biohackers.
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