Team:University College London/HumanPractice/DIYbio/Exhibition




Overview | Concept | DIYbio | Workshops | Exhibition | Evaluation | Conclusion

Also read the great write-up of the event on C-LAB

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Our collaboration focused on a small group of representatives from the DIYbio group at the London Hackspace. To share our work and experience with a wider public audience, we chose to host an exhibition reflecting on the collaboration. To attract a wider audience, we teamed up with our long-term advisor Howard Boland from C-LAB to host the event.


  • Reflect on our collaboration with London Biohackers (workshops + creating of “public” BioBrick)
  • Show citizen science within biology and molecular biology
  • A Synthetic Biology primer
  • Deliberate 'Access to Tools of Synthetic Biology' for “the Public”
  • Gain momentum and interest for a future "London Community Lab"


We planned our exhibition as three components: DIYBio Europe, Citizen Science and Synthetic Biology.

Around the corridor, we created a timeline of our collaboration with the London Hackspace and other DIYbio groups. Attendees revisited our shared experience, starting at the initiation of the projects, traveling through the workshops and onto other DIYbio projects, including lemon & soil fuel cell at MadLab, the Manchester DIYbio group.

In the main area, a running gel of the “public BioBrick” was the centrepiece and the evening opened with a dramatic performance as we began running the gel.

On one side of the room, an area explored Citizen Science, including DIYbio and London Hackspace. We planned to include a print of the diybio codes, 'New Word, Old Profession' - a portrait gallery of unrecognised citizen scientists (Isaac Newton, etc.). We also included the DIY incubator and shaker that was built in the London Hackspace during our collaboration with the biohackers. Another item we would have liked to include would have been a DIY Personal Genome station where audience members had the opportunity to pipette and load their own sample into a gel. With time restraints and safety considerations, this was not possible but we feel an interactive exhibit would be an improvement for future events.

On the other side of the room, the sections around Synthetic Biology, including iGEM and Parts Registry exhibited one of the MIT synthetic biology comic created by Drew Endy and his colleagues, a video including the London biohackers and iGEM students on the collaboration, and a PCR machine.


7.00pm Exhibition opens and opening remarks
7.05pm Begin running the gel of the “public BioBrick”
7.15pm Audience explores exhibition
7.45pm Gel is examined
8.00pm Panel Q&A (3 Biohackers, 3 iGEMers)

Virtual Exhibition

Not the real thing, but if you missed it - here are some of our exhibition posters in a virtual exhibition gallery:

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Overall, more than 60 people attended our exhibition - amongst them Sir Roland Jackson from the British Science Association, Dr Brian Degger, iGEMers from Westminster and Prof. Muki Haklay. Similarly to our Speed Debate, many people stayed for a long time - even two hours after the event, many people were still chatting about Access to Synthetic Biology at our reception.