While initially we had planned to design these materials specifically for biology students, we eventually made them more general, firstly because the key curricula we were working with (in biology) were undergoing revision, but also because the aspects of intellectual property that we wished to explain could be applied to any given subject, so specialisation at this point was not necessary. There are two materials. The first is a pamphlet, which explains what intellectual property might mean provided we analyse its component parts, which are otherwise left to overlap. The cover features a striking image of Damien Hirst's For the Love of God, which the artist was kind enough to allow us to reproduce for free. To those who may not know, this is an interesting object for thinking about intellectual property, and one that we hope students will find particularly stimulating. We were inspired to use this artwork thanks to reading Putting Intellectual Property in its Place by Laura J. Murray, S. Tina Piper, and Kirsty Robertson. The second teaching resource we have provided is a set of discussion prompts and tasks for teachers to use. They introduce to students:
- What a concept like intellectual ownership is composed of.
- The ways in which ownership claims influence their world.
- The positive and negative consequences that can follow from having a strong sense of ownership over ideas/techniques/technologies etc.
We would greatly appreciate any feedback that you might care to offer having read these materials, and if you plan on using them yourself, please do get in touch.
The Cultivating Innovation project, funded by the AHRC, has now come to an end. This is not however an end for this website, or indeed necessarily the aims and goals of the project itself. After all, you can relive the interdisciplinary conference whenever you so wish via YouTube. The project researcher, Dominic Berry, will continue to write the occasional blog post on this site and make use of the community established on Twitter, as he continues to investigate IP in contemporary bioscience from a historical perspective. More specifically he will be engaged as a Research Fellow on the 'Engineering Life' project (led by Jane Calvert), looking at the ways in which synthetic biologists are managing their intellectual property. Gregory Radick will be further exploring the IP-narrow/IP-broad dynamic, mainly through a closer study of how Mendelian genetics came to be prized as one of the most productive sciences of the twentieth century, but also by revisiting the story of human gene patenting, expanding on his first paper on this area. Graeme Gooday will be continuing to develop his research into the history of technology and intellectual property beyond his award winning Patently Contestable, co-authored with Stathis Arapostathis. In particular he will be building on his more recent Rethinking Patent Cultures project, which will soon begin to yield new edited collections, including a volume dedicated to global patent cultures from a historical perspective.
Lastly it remains for us to thank all of our collaborators and academic advisors. We wish to give particular thanks to Bruce Pearce of the Organic Research Centre, who has been an excellent collaborator and provided insights that Berry in particular benefited from greatly. Mercedes Campi has been a great friend to the project, and provided numerous blog posts on her research and up to date information about the ever shifting world of IP (and we hope to host much more of her work soon), while Mrinalini Kochupillai and Lindsay Gledhill provided extensive and excellent feedback on the teaching materials (all faults remain Berry's!) Mike Ambrose and Sarah Wilmot were crucial to making the international conference, hosted at the John Innes Centre, a success, while both also gave generously with their time and expertise (in the contemporary plant sciences and the history of the plant sciences respectively).
That's all for now folks. We hope you've enjoyed it.