Welcome to the Genomics Forum blog

Based at The University of Edinburgh, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network and pioneers new ways to promote and communicate social research on the contemporary life sciences.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sharing with Bright Ideas Fellow Alessandro Delfanti

by Alessandro Delfanti - Genomics Forum Bright Ideas Fellow
Contract Professor, University of Milan
Research Fellow, Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA), Italy

Here I am, back in Italy after a wonderful month spent at the Forum as a Bright Ideas Fellow. It has been a very productive and interesting experience.

First of all, I had the time and space to work on my book – I seem more likely to be able to meet the deadline and turn the manuscript in, now. And what a space, a lovely office with a view on Edinburgh's Salisbury Crags.

I read and studied a lot, away from my daily routines and in the quiet environment of Edinburgh and its beautiful university. I even finished and submitted a paper that had been waiting for... how much? Two years perhaps!

And then, the Forum helped me organise a workshop on one of my favourite topics: sharing.

We invited eight people from the UK and the US to discuss how genomes circulate today. The focus was on the balance between stricts intellectual property rights and open source modes of managing data, and we had a very diverse set of people to attend it: social scientists, biologists, open access advocates, and policy experts.

It was great to finally meet in person some people I had only worked with online before, and to debate those issues with such an interesting group of scholars, and hopefully I will borrow some of the ideas that emerged during the workshop and use them in my book. After all, open source means that one can take, remix and reuse knowledge, right?

So I am grateful to everybody at the Forum: the two Steves (Yearley and Sturdy), who invited me, Matthias who helped me organise the workshop and Margaret, who put up with my demands. Actually, everybody has been supportive and kind, for example helping me settle, showing me the best pubs around and inviting me to Peter's theatre play. I have been back to business in Milan only for a day, and I miss Edinburgh already. But then I also know I will soon have more chances to enjoy Edinburgh and the Forum's intellectual environment. Can't wait!

Circulating genomes: sharing in the life sciences sector Workshop
My book
My personal homepage

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