Hackerspaces and biology
As a long time Citizen Science and Open Source supporter I love the idea of Hackerspaces3 - collaboration workspaces allowing individuals to work on their own technical projects, sharing tools and knowledge. I consider them a vital counterpart to Academic research labs, where people are not bound by strict rules and grants. Hackerspaces excel in very disorganized research and development of various IT and electronic projects, producing a lot of open designs and proof of concepts4.
Many researchers point out that it is possible only due to the nature of IT and electronics allowing rapid prototyping and near-instantaneous results - something which couldn't be replicated in more time-consuming experimental sciences such as chemistry and biology. I'd like to disagree with that point. While it is impossible to achieve the same speed of prototyping as in IT or electronics …