Biocaptivate offers a counterpoint to the presently dominant reductionist view of science. It activates and nurtures a community built around a humanistic conception of biology, and based on interdependence and complexity, within and outside of science.

To improve the culture of science, Biocaptivate builds a bridge between social insights (including those derived from social psychology, cognitive behavioral science, networking, and the science of productive gathering) on one hand, and science’s systemic/structural problems on the other. We curate and elevate unusual, under-signaled high-potential ideas/narratives, groups, and individuals. We study and teach the art of shifting Hallin’s spheres regarding science and scientists.

Biocaptivate’s “no small talk” curated networking salon is designed to address the deep structural/cultural problems in biotech/science/education and in Silicon Valley.


  1. We create unusual panels and events/gathering rituals. We curate and invite diverse influencers to attend our events. We help people weave the concept of biology into gatherings to solve specific structural/systemic problems.

  2. We teach introductory biotechnology/biology classes to investors, policy-makers, and culture influencers.

  3. We create a “Book Club/Workgroup + Cocktail + Hyper-curated Salon/Class”.

  4. We compose playbooks and white papers based on learnings from Priya Parker, Mariana Mazzucato, etc.

  5. We provide intel, deep insight, and knowledge to mission-aligned collaborators in the biological sciences space.

Planned Future Event Interval:

One monthly invitation only salon (free)

One monthly public salon (charged)

Our monthly events alternate between deep tech (such as “Cell-free vs. in cellulo,” “Ocean and Synthetic Biology,” etc.) theme and culture/narrative theme (such as “Art and Science are One,” “The Future of Media and Journalism,” etc.). We will occasionally host day-long events which mix deep tech themes with those pertaining to culture/narrative.  We believe that these topics’ unusual combination and juxtaposition facilitate transformational networking and out-of-box problem-solving.

“Book Club/Workgroup + Cocktail + Hyper-curated Salon/Class (optional)” in between the two salons. Yan will host this.

Past events:

Biology is Not Programming: Embracing the complexity. Seminar/salon (Class)

Social Imagination and Science (Salon)

Politics, Solidarity Activism, and Science (Salon)


Always pointy, always blunt, no sugarcoating.

Transformation, not transaction.

Biology is not programming.

We are a social imagination company.


We are built to purge a reductionist mindset that is deeply ingrained within synthetic biology and with biotech’s culture, policies, and institutional norms. We aim to redefine “the third culture” (scientists as public intellectuals). We promote networked lateral thinking. We augment the selective pressure, budget, and policy of science, biotech, and education.

Molecular biology is inherently inseparable from ecology and holistic systems thinking, so too are business management and leadership.

Our core ideas and teachings are like DNA. The same DNA template can have different methylations, activations and expressions in different contexts, be them intimate dinners, Chatham House meetings, curated salons, workshops, large conferences, PR media meetings, etc..

We are curators, facilitators, and community builders. We believe scientists are unique individuals, not interchangeable tools, not labor to be exploited. We oppose austerity, conventional wisdom, reductionism, the cult of positivity, circular reasoning, pigeonholing, mimetic isomorphism (“the tendency of institutions facing uncertainty to become more and more alike in a quest for legitimacy in the eyes of employees, customers, and competitors”), McNamara Fallacy (metricism/quantitative fallacy), homophily (the tendency for people to seek out or be attracted to those who are similar to themselves, or those who have similar formative experience or in similar professional), and end-of-history fallacy. We create remedies for hypocognition (missing and being unable to communicate cognitive and linguistic representations because there are no words for particular concepts).

We’re advisors. Our core products are our ideas and the connections that we build between people and fields. We give deep or introductory scientific classes to non-scientists such as investors or artists, etc., based on the idea that “biology is not programming.” We help supporters recruit top talent, we help investors perform scientific due diligence (conditional upon their alignment with Biocaptivate’s mission and ideology).

We bring in outsiders; we celebrate and empower introverts.