The following is a press release announcing the first graduation ceremony for the BioHack Academy.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: On 21 April 2015, Waag's first BioHack Academy graduates presented their work to an audience gathered in the Open Wetlab and became the first generation of self-taught biotechnologists. Over the last ten weeks, students from Waag's BioHack Academy built a fully functioning lab with materials commonly found at home.
Biotechnology has long been considered by scientists to be too complex and too expensive for lay people to practice. Those participating in the BioHack Academy aim to break down these barriers. Two of the pioneers helping to make this dream a reality were: Tony Garcia, who researched the concept of immortality with life-extension in worms; and Eline van der Ploeg, a graphic designer from Royal Academy of Art working with living systems, who developed a bacterial typeface.
The first BioHack Academy graduation show took place not only in the home lab in Amsterdam, but also in the three sister labs around the world. The show was live streamed with BioHack academies in Barcelona, São Paulo, Rome, and Albuquerque—making this event an international affair.
Amsterdam BioHack Academy's founder, Pieter van Boheemen, lead the ceremony and presented the students with special certificates grown from yeast by Gunter Seyfried. Pieter van Boheemen was previously featured in a WIRED.co.uk article for his involvement in DIY Bio Europe.
On 15 September 2015, the first lesson of the second BioHack Academy will take place. To construct your own biolab machines, enroll in the BioHack Academy #2 online.