What is a Community Lab?
Community labs are state of the art life science laboratories with no barriers to entry beyond a membership fee. They provide value as a shared resource to independent scholars in the life sciences, tinkerers, and members of the general community with an interest in biology. The operator sells access to the resource in exchange for enough money to maintain and improve the shared resource–like a gym membership.
Democratise scientific research and knowledge in the life sciences; Community labs break down the barriers to entry in biotechnology, no longer is biotech only for those in universities and large organisations. This will enhance both the capacity for scientific advancement and the creation and adoption of new technology.
Reducing fear of the unknown
Biotech currently has an image problem in some segments of the community–it is seen as a type of ‘evil wizardry’, and large biotech companies are viewed as nothing short of evil.
Community labs address two contributory factors to this view:
Firstly; The fact that the tools of biotechnology are available only to those in large universities and corporations, not to individual, ordinary tinkerers.
Secondly; The fear/distrust of the unknown can be removed through education and thus understanding of science by the community. By providing a facility to learn in, welcoming to all, members of the community may obtain better insight to the impacts that science has on their lives.
Many Ways to engage
Community laboratories provide a great connection between the general public and institutions of science. As such, they provide a perfect opportunity for students and members of the general public to learn and practice hands on skills. For academics and industry professionals, community laboratories are a great chance to engage a wider audience on their work through workshops and discussions. Let us know how you'd like to engage by dropping us a line at