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Author: Subject: New York City communal lab space?
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[*] posted on 19-6-2016 at 18:23
New York City communal lab space?

I've noticed so-called "makerspaces" popping up all over the place here in NYC, but there doesn't seem to be anything for chemists. Does anyone have any idea how hard it would be to set up a non-profit organization that could either get some lab space is Brooklyn or somewhere similar, or piggyback off of another makerspace-type organization that's dedicated to some other variety of science? The organization that I was thinking of is [NYC Resistor](, although they're obviously more dedicated to electronics stuff. The main hurdles I'd foresee are potentially toxic waste (we'd have to pay some service to dispose of it properly) and the inherent dangers that come with experimental chemistry. Installing fume hoods and such should be more straightforward, although we'd need a list of guidelines as far as what is and is not permissible.

But I can see a lot of potential benefits to pooling resources. We could have a glassblowing setup, a lot more safety equipment than a home chemist would have access to, not to mention all the shared expertise and surplus chemicals that we all have. Has this been tried before anywhere? Or does anything like this ever happen? I'm really interested in fuel cell chemistry, for example, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere in the city that I can go to access the equipment I'd need to do any experimentation, at least at my current level of income.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2016 at 18:38

We have a chemistry and bio makerspace in Toronto ( and a lot of people just don't get it. Getting people on board is taking a while, but even with Toronto being much smaller than NYC we are getting new people interested.

I also have access to a huge amount of lab equipment for good prices (one of the first chem labs in canada is being liquidated :( ) so let me know if you're actually doing this anytime soon.

[Edited on 20-6-2016 by DoctorOfPhilosophy]
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[*] posted on 24-6-2016 at 14:15

The DIYBio communities have set up many "semi-public" labs in the last few years in a few countries. My brother was using one temporarily a few years ago for his postgrad. Sure, a biotech lab isn't ideal, but if there is one in your area it may be suitable.
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