Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The academic-industrial system of biotechnology wants you to believe that giving access to genetic material to normal people would be dangerous. Physical genetic information is being locked up, for safety, for the exclusive use and benefit of the powerful.
We are in beginning of a culture conflict within the discipline of bioengineering. Synthetic DNA is freeing people from the monopoly of material lineages that universities and companies once had. People are beginning to share DNA materials, and there are organizations fighting to open up the academic-industrial system. But those in power, who are comfortable with the status quo, will fight this change. They will seek to undermine openness, will push exaggerated headlines, and will desperately try to stay in control by scaring people. They won’t dream of a better tomorrow - it is up to us to architect a world that is better than today.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to engineer life to make the world a better place. Biotechnology does not belong to those in power, it belongs to us all. We’re not sitting, idly, waiting for tomorrow. We’re building it. Will you join us?
(Inspired by the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto)