Also, look up OpenTrons. Lab automation is not glamorous work. There is no huge consumer market like 3D printers and drones to help push the price down. Even on the evangelism side, there has yet to be an "EEVBlog for biotechnology" (the closest are Thought Emporium and Josiah Zayner's channel). Perhaps this pandemic would change things. 80% of the expensive stuff are mostly imaging or spectrometry related. Most of the remain 20% are expensive because they are niche and proprietary, not necessarily because they are hard. There is no printer driver moment (Stallman et al.) to catalyze any mass change because, well, the entire society that brought up the poor postdoc using the printer sees nothing wrong in biomedical research being expensive and gatekept and that postdoc him/herself is a product of that system, otherwise he/she won't have made postdoc. A lot of things are niche and expensive, just ask those who had to work on video protocols like AV1. Yet they are available for free. There are a ton of biotechnology that requires, to use a gaming slang, "grinding", but are a magnitude easier than good video compression, instead they are all extremely out of reach for the casual practitioner. Just google "basal cell media". It is bread and butter of many labs but cost more than caviar. Think of bio instrumentation being like obscure fintech time series databases. They are not necessarily more difficult to build or engineer than anything else but are simply constrained by demand hence ridiculous pricing.
As for legitimacy of hackerspaces, I will frame it through your lens (from your username I am guessing that you are a quant). The FDA is essentially the SEC of anything biomed related. However it is not a true free market in the sense that anyone can enter. Hence legitimacy is a problem. The equivalent of FINRA accreditation is a PhD and/or medical school. Small independent traders are very much not a thing when it comes to biotech (which is what the various movements mentioned in the article is trying to change). Also people like Josiah Zayner are very unpopular because they upset the usual narrative about biohackers being unaccredited "they know not what they do" and merely attention-seeking stunt people.
If you want some reading resources that are hacker friendly, try this O'Reilly book:
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