StackExchange for Synthetic Biology

In case you don’t know already, StackEchange is a network of Q&A websites in which a variety of topics are discussed. Each site focuses on a specific topic (for example, Stack Overflow for programming, Super User for computer enthusiasts, or Ask Ubuntu for users of the Ubuntu operating system, among many others), and it is a place for users to ask and answer questions, all while being subjected to a reputation award process that allow the site to be self-moderating.

A group of scientists, including some of the members of the BioRoboost consortium, are now looking to create a StackExchange site for Synthetic Biology, as this discipline could use a good, universal database of questions and answers. Every new site created in the Stack Exchange Network must undergo a six-step process: (1) create a meta-site to discuss potential new ideas; (2) post a public proposal which can be further worked on and defined by the community member; (3) engage 200 users that will commit to the site; (4) launch a private beta site; (5) launch a public beta site; and (6) fully launch the site if it passes an evaluation based on multiple criteria (i.e. number of answered questions, new questions per day, etc.).

The early stages of defining the Synthetic Biology StackExchange site are now complete, and the next step is to demonstrate a critical mass of people (i.e. researchers, students, teachers, engineers, biohackers, and any others working with or learning about Synthetic Biology) committing to participate in order to get a beta site launched (step 3 of the Stack Exchange site creation process).

If you are interested, please sign up here to help launch the beta site! 

You can also join a community-building Slack group by reaching out to Jake Beal at

Leave a Comment