Stanford EE

Growing a Biofuture Of, By, and For the People: Envisioning an American LABrary System

Callie Rodgers Chappell (Stanford)
William J. Perry Conference Room

About the Event: Every moment of every day, we see, engage, and construct with biology. From gene editing with CRISPR in a lab to making yogurt under kitchen counters, engineering with biology permeates all aspects of our lives. However, not everyone sees biology as around us, in us, and of us. The 21st century may be the century of biotechnology, but it is also the time when many do not feel empowered to engage. People have been disenfranchised from innovating with biology at a moment of crisis: climate change, pandemics, and global inequality afflict millions. But what if everyone could access the tools and knowledge to see, understand, and construct effective biological solutions to their own problems, in their own communities? What if biology was by and for everyone?

Biology for Everyone, a collaborative research project led by Dr. Callie Chappell and their interdisciplinary team, envisions (1) creating publicly accessible labs at the local level, such as in public libraries (LABraries) and (2) professional pathways (LABrarians) and curricula for a national community biology training program. This CISAC seminar will present results from a series of working groups convening a diverse group of scientists, educators, academics, activists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and artists to deliberate on a national strategy to advance biology for everyone (BIO4E).

About the Speaker: Dr. Callie Chappell is a Bio Security and Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. Their research focuses on expanding participation, innovation, and imagination in American bioeconomy through community engagement. Previously, they were involved in leading BioJam, a collaboration between community organizations in Salinas, CA and Stanford University, to reimagine bioengineering through the lens of youth leadership, culture, and creativity. Dr. Chappell received their PhD from Stanford University in Biology, where they were a Fellow with the Center for Evolutionary and Human Genomics (CEHG), a graduate ethics fellow with the McCoy Family Center for Ethics, BioFutures Fellow with the Department of Bioengineering, and National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellow. During their PhD, Dr. Chappell was also a Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Catherine S. McCarter Science Policy Fellow with the Ecological Society of America (ESA), and president of the Stanford Science Policy Group. In addition to their research and policy work, Dr. Chappell is also a professional artist and arts educator.