Managing the Biocommons
The biocommons is a place to safeguard and steward the legacy of millions of years of biological evolution. The biocommons is a place to archive, research, and share information about biology, genetics and ecology.
Synthetic Biology today is able - besides its industrial applications – to penetrate ecosystems at large and even the livelihood of people directly. To build a future ecosystem, the social and legal relations and assumptions underlying the concept of property and responsibility need to be addressed.
Due to the shortcomings of patents and copyright to grasp the nature of biological innovations and their failure to foster sustainable life science innovations, legal innovation appears necessary. Alternative IP regimes such as open-access and open-source could in future help to leverage the cost for research and development in the life sciences, mobilize unused knowledge and become more adaptable to spark new inventions.
Ideas as right of self-determination, the definition of individuality, the human rights and the ontology of life itself need to be reinterpreted when formulating the ethical principles for the Bio-Commons. Define the divisive line between a fact- and value based reference system for the Bio-Commons. As an integral part of a citizen science participation in Synenergene questions around ethics, legislation and ownership will be discussed.