“Ellen Jorgensen is helping to democratize biology making it less the purview of academics and Big Pharma and more an enterprise accessible to anyone who wants a hands-on scientific experience.” – Discover Magazine, October 2011
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Info on the speaker at the TED website – http://www.ted.com/speakers/ellen_jorgensen.html
“After many years of working as a molecular biologist in the biotechnology industry, Ellen Jorgensen needed a change. So, in 2009, bolstered by her belief in public science literacy, education, and outreach, together with TED Fellow Oliver Medvedik, she founded Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab. Despite criticism that some research should be left to the experts, the Brooklyn-based lab continues to thrive. Amateur and professional scientists conduct award-winning research there on projects as diverse as identifying microbes that live in Earth’s atmosphere and (Jorgensen’s own pet project) DNA-barcoding plants from Alaska, to distinguish between species that look alike but may not be closely related evolutionarily”.