One of the both wonderful and challenging things about working in a highly interdisciplinary area like synthetic biology is that all of us who work there are painfully ignorant.
No matter how much of an expert one is in some areas, there is simply too much complexity and too many things to know to allow one to be an expert in all of the relevant aspects of the field. Even an apparently simple task like measuring fluorescence from simple genetic constructs often contains quite a number of rabbit holes of complexity that one can go down.
Working in a field like this, it's easy to feel insecure about how much one doesn't know. But ignorance can be a gift as well, providing an outside perspective and shedding light on unexamined assumptions. Moreover, what is collaboration if not constructive use of complementary ignorance? Indeed, this is what Joy's law is all about: tackling complex challenges is effectively impossible for "lone geniuses" and always involves expertise dispersed among many different people.
This is a key part of what we are trying to address with the Synthetic Biology StackExchange proposal. Knowledge flows slowly and noisily through person-to-person networking, but much more quickly through well-curated community Q&A like StackExchange supports. Instead of one person getting their question answered through oral tradition, we all get an answer that's confirmed by many peer reviewers and made easy to find for the next several hundred people who need to know.
All we need now to make this happen is another few dozen people to support the proposal and then come ask three good questions on one of the existing sites like Biology.SE or Bioinformatics.SE (thus hitting the "people able to use StackExchange" criteria for launch). I've really been enjoying this myself, asking questions about simple laboratory information that's outside of my experience, like how hard it is to pipette right and the shelf-life of frozen bacteria, and receiving interesting and informative answers.
Come join us today and make a gift of your ignorance!