Markus Schmidt

Founder and CEOat Biofaction
Vienna,
Austria

Dr. Markus Schmidt (male, PhD in 2005, father of 3 kids) is founder and team leader of BIOFACTION (www.biofaction.com), a research, technology assessment and art-science intitute in Vienna, Austria. With a multidisciplinary educational background in biomedical and electronic engineering, biology and environmental risk assessment he has carried out inter- and transdisciplinary projects in a number of science and technology fields such as GM-crops, gene therapy, nanotechnology, converging technologies, synthetic and xenobiology, and neurotechnology. Schmidt works on the interface between science and society, and since 2004 has participated in a total 22 EC FP6/7/H2020, national and international research projects projects, coordinating a total of 5 projects.. He served as an advisor to the EC European Group on Ethics (EGE, 2009), to the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (2010), and was member of the EC’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR, 2014/15) working group on synthetic biology. He published 44 peer review papers on risk assessment, biosafety, art-science and public understanding of science, edited two special issues and three books on ethics, sustainability and artistic interpretations of biotechnology. In addition to the scientific work, he supports the democratization of science and technology, co-founding in 2012 the Austrian Biohacking club “Pavillon 35”. He engages in a number of public dialogue activities - including the World Wide Views series - and finds inspiration in the collaboration between art and science. He initiated and co-curated the BIO·FICTION Science Art Film Festival (2011, 2014 and 2019), the art exhibition “synth-ethic” (2011), the design exhibitions “Possible Tomorrows” (2016), "Plant Designer" (2018), “Plant Stories (2020) and “Carbon Futures” (2020) and supported, so far, eigth artist in residencies in research labs in order to explore creative ideas about future technologies. Together with his team he developed four science games on antibiotics, bioengineering and vaccines, available on itunes and google play store, and several documentaries and animations about the societal ramifications of novel technologies.