Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Recent amateur and alternative uses of wet laboratory biology techniques have been called by many names. However, none of the terms currently in use include institutional, entrepreneurial and amateur engagements in biotechnology with non-scientific aims. In this article, the author introduces the more comprehensive concept of fringe biotechnology. While ‘DIYbio’ has in recent years become a term that covers a wide range of hobbyist approaches to biotechnology, it still excludes several other alternative biotech practices, such as amateur and artistic activities in institutional labs and educational facilities. This seems to imply a continued fundamental divide between the inside of academic and corporate science, and the outside, comprising public, social and cultural uses of the technologies. The author suggests that the term ‘fringe biotechnology’ opens up for studying biotech activities across the inside–outside divide, and presents a range of examples of fringe biotechnology.