MAKING_LIFE 2014–2015

Bio-Commons Workshop

The Finnish Society of Bioart and SYNENERGENE invited participants to a workshop about Bio-Commons, in the framework of Camp Pixelache, from the 6th-8th of June 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. Documentation and resources from the meeting are shared below.



"The Commons" consist of any common resource that is available to all, and as such there are many types of Commons but basically two: physical resources or person-made. A plenitude of licensing modes have been developed in the past and were especially successful in the digital world. Despite the obvious success, there exists no similar licensing model for the life sciences. In prospect of the vast amounts of knowledge and inventions to be awaited it is a good time to bring our experience and expertise together to initiate an in depth discussion on the subject of Bio-Commons. The questions to ask and answer lie at the intersection of law and scientific theory and practice. At the same time we have to consider amongst others, ethical, societal and economic needs and challenges concerning life sciences.

The aim of the Bio-Commons workshop is to initiate this discussion and identify the requirements and conditions for an open and collaborative approach towards Life Sciences. A keynote by Markus Schmidt AT will commence the Bio-Commons workshop: Markus Schmidt will walk us through the theme of the Bio-Commons, presenting various initiatives aiming at creating a more open source environment in the biotech area, the Nagoya Protocol as a means to internationally regulate the use and conservation of genetic resources. He draws parallels from the printer movement to biotechnology, with DIY-Bio spearheading the movement to go beyond the producer-consumer divide.

Bio-Commons_Whitepaper (pdf)



This is a preliminary schedule. As it is an unconference, we will decide together what to focus on, to extend or remove subjects.

Friday 6th June at 17.30: KEYNOTES Markus Schmidt & Alain Ambrosi
Location: Helsinki University, unioninkatu 40, Auditorium 1

Saturday 7th June: CAMP Pixelache Day 1 in the barn on Vartiosaari
10.00 -12.00 short presentations (10min each)
Erich Berger gives an introduction to the workshop
Rüdiger Trojok on the general situation of life sciences
Eugenio Battaglia on the challanges arising by bodyhacking
Pieter van Boheme on Biostrike initiative for decentralized drug screening
Günter Seyfried on questions of opportunities, potentials and blind alleys found in open license models on the background of diybio and bioart.
13.00 - 17.00 group discussions
defining the current situation of the life sciences, as well as questions and expectations concerning the
arising ethical, societal and economic needs and challenges
17.00 - open end: Summary
short presentation of the group work results (postiz on a whiteboard) and general discussion

Sunday 8th June: CAMP Pixelache Day 2 in the barn on Vartiosaari
10.00 -12.00 short presentations (10 min each)
Stefano Golinelli on "The FLOK Policy Proposal on Biodiversity: the role of "open source" and DIYBIO for Ecuador's life sciences
Thomas Margoni on what is a license and when we need one?
Lucas Evers on [enter your topic here]
Denisa Kera on "Open Source Hardware and Biotech Patents: Hybrid forms of Translational Research".... I may also present a bit on the Biostrike: Open Antibiotics Discovery in Asia
13.00 - 15.00 group discussions
Finding answers to / defining how to answer the questions posed on saturday in the light of legal and social constraints and options
15.00 - open end: Summary
short presentation of the group work results (postiz on a whiteboard) and general discussion

An information package on the subject is being prepared and will be downloadable here:
Specify the agenda for the workshop by commenting on this piratepad:



Bio-Commons is organized by the Finnish Society of Bioart with Rüdiger Trojok in collaboration with Camp Pixelache 2014 Helsinki. Bio-Commons is supported by SYNENERGENE, funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union.



Collection of questions around Bio-Commons
1.What do we do with all this biological data?
2.How can we protect future misuse of this data? –this applies on e.g. harmful applications but also on misuse of power over data!
3.Who owns the data and why?
4.Who is in charge of the IT infrastructure for the biological data? Is it safe, secure, open?
5.How does the patenting process work/what do patents apply on?
6.Is a genetic modification really an invention?
7.Where do you draw the line between discovery, natural variance and man made modification?
8.Who benefits from patents and who doesn't?
9.To what extent is it necessary to legally protect scientist, engineers and companies to allow further inventions and research?
10.Would a biocommons licensing model offer a better solution?
11.How to equate biological systems to abstract and creative contents?
12.What legal framework would a biocommons license build upon?
13.Could there be better/different funding schemes for research, e.g. Biocoins?
14.How can individuals be protected from misleading market developments?
15.Would it be legally and technically possible and reasonable to separate human related gene technology from non-human?
16.How could society influence the use of the technology?
17.What is the role and scope of the DIYbio community regarding the future development?
18.What does all this mean for human reproduction and reproductive rights - if the bio commons are economised in the name of ecosystem protection, how far are The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB-report) from an engagement in the field of the Economics of Human Biological Reproduction and Care, as social reproduction?





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