Chapter 1. BioCoder and Education

Nina DiPrimio, PhD

Thanks to those of you who are returning to BioCoder, and welcome to the new readers and contributors. The first issue of BioCoder reached more than 10,000 readers, and we hope that number continues to grow. We’ve put together an exciting second issue and think you’ll find the diverse content to be educational and inspirational.

I taught laboratory courses for a couple years after earning my PhD, but I then decided to dive back into research. However, I still wanted to teach, but I wanted to teach individuals who chose the topics they wanted to learn and who attended the classes for their own personal development. That led to the creation of IdeaLab at BioCurious in Sunnyvale, California: a meeting to discuss current research topics, analyze scientific articles, and generate project ideas. After a successful year of the class, we joined forces with Genspace and created a virtual journal club open to all individuals with the desire to learn about current topics in research. Within the independent scientist community, this is one example of many ways in which individuals are learning research fundamentals, broadening their areas of knowledge and expertise, and sparking new project ideas and collaborative efforts.

What does this have to do with BioCoder?

BioCoder is another forum to educate those who are willing to learn, but with this venue, we have the opportunity to reach a larger audience. This means that we can inspire those who aren’t involved in biology to get involved, make science less intimidating and more accessible, enhance collaboration, and maybe even affect science policy. I challenge you to think about ways in which you can continue to spread the knowledge that will affect public opinion. We are doing amazing things in biology, bioengineering, and related areas of research, and you’ll see many examples of that in this issue. The content ranges from scientific education through museum exhibitions and bioart to an exploration of entrepreneurial topics for the independent scientists, including tips on crowdfunding your project, biosafety rules and regulations, biological gaming, and open source healthcare.

We will continue to include diverse content in BioCoder issues, but in order to fulfill that promise, we need to hear from you, our readers. If you have a unique perspective on scientific happenings outside of traditional settings—or maybe untraditional scientific happenings in traditional settings—please contact us at . We would love to hear your ideas for future articles.

Enjoy, explore and continue to educate!