Biology Hacker

Organization: Biology Hacker
Category: Startups
When: March 2012 – Present

Roles & Contributions:
Web Development
Science Communication


Biology Hacker is a project that I am working on as an effort in science communication to improve public familiarity with genetic engineering. The first part of this project, a website called The Synthetic Bestiary, was published online in March 2012. It features a number of guides and a news blog which showcases new scientific articles. The website was designed after a comprehensive analysis of other science communication efforts happening in the area of synthetic biology.

After conducting this analysis I discovered a few important holes in the existing material online. Firstly, there was a lack of material that properly bridged the gap between surface-level news on topics and detailed scientific news on topics – this made it hard for interested parties to make the leap from novice to intermediate levels of involvement. Secondly, most information was siloed into one particular type of synthetic biology, rather than embracing the discipline in a broader sense. The Synthetic Bestiary was designed as an answer to these holes, presenting a middle ground of information from a broad range of topics under the umbrella of synthetic biology.

The next step is the Biology Hacker website itself, which seeks to provide users with accessible learning material and how-to guides for synthetic biology experiments.