Biohackers walk a blurry line between science and pseudoscience.
But, today, they fall square on the science side due to their recent decision to disinvite David Avocado Wolfe from the Biohacker Summit - the largest biohacking event in Europe. The meeting, held in Helsinki, Finland in mid-October, will have 1,000 attendees - all of whom will (thankfully) not be hearing what Wolfe has to say. This includes, among other things, that mushrooms have intelligence and consciousness, that chocolate is an octave of male sun energy and that the Earth is flat.
In case you don't know, biohacking is the practice of people taking biology into their own hands. It's a cross between DIY Bio and citizen science. Whatever form it takes, it's driven by people taking an interest in science and trying it out with little or no formal training. People doing experiments in their basements to trying out different ways to have more energy. It can span a range of seeming very science based to very wonky. There is language on their websites like having a big mind-body picture to practicing wellness and holistic health - buzz words that are a slippery slope to certified pseudoscience, like IV infusions and homeopathic teething tablets.
But, after today's announcement when they booted David Avocado Wolfe from their conference, they not only gave a win to the pro-science community - they rejected the nutty pseudoscience that Wolfe (and others like him) promotes.
The announcement was posted today on their website. It reads
Changes to David Wolfe’s participation as a speaker
The organiser committee of the Biohacker Summit 2017 has revisited David ‘Avocado’ Wolfe’s involvement as a speaker. The Biohacker Summit 2017 conference held on 13-14 October in Helsinki, Finland stands for critical thinking, research and data-driven improvement of human performance. To support this agenda we give stage for both scientists and pioneering practitioners and individuals conducting their own research.
New information has surfaced in our investigation about David Wolfe’s background and has changed our stance regarding his suitability for inclusion as a speaker in this conference. In this process we have taken into account the feedback we have received from our valued biohacker community. As a result we have decided to remove David Wolfe from the list of speakers.
This disinvitation to Avocado Wolfe means that people who are on the fringe of science are rejecting people like him. It shows the power of people making a change - as the planning committee cited the feedback from their community - which was expressed as tweets and FB posts. In the end, it takes some of the wind out of his sails and undoubtedly embarrassed him - something that someone with 10 million facebook followers, who thinks vaccines are harmful, needs.