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Open Source Biopolitics

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The L.A. Anti-Authoritarian Marxist Network will be hosting Alessandro Delfanti, researcher, activist and anti authoritarian trouble maker. Join us for a lively discussion  on Open Source Biopolitics.


We are increasingly asked to share our information on the Internet, to disclose our friendships, our families, even the slightist interactions. What are the stakes when the shared information are personal medical data? In this seminar we discuss examples of cancer patients who re appropriate their conditions by hacking and opening up their data through autonomous practices of sharing and thus enact new forms of digital solidarity that have the potential for changing the meaning of “cure”.

To deal with the constraints and conflicts of contemporary biopolitics, institutional protocols need at times to be circumvented or cracked open, one might even say subverted. But even these practices can be transformed into means for profit accumulation and health privatization, as well as foster further medicalization of health and illness. 

Alessandro Delfanti is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, in Montreal. 
His first book is titled “Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science” (Pluto 2013)
Biohackers explores fundamental changes occuring in the circulation and ownership of scientific information. Alessandro Delfanti argues that the combination of the ethos of 20th century science, the hacker movement and the free software movement is producing an open science culture which redefines the relationship between researchers, scientific institutions and commercial companies. Biohackers looks at the emergence of the citizen biology community ‘DIYbio’, the shift to open access by the American biologist Craig Venter and the rebellion of the Italian virologist Ilaria Capua against WHO data-sharing policies. Delfanti argues that these biologists and many others are involved in a transformation of both life sciences and information systems, using open access tools and claiming independence from both academic and corporate institutions.
Monday, May 19, 2014 - 19:30
The Public School Los Angeles, 951 Chung King Road, 90012 more
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