Is biology too important to be left in the hands of experts? Maybe.
Americans like stories about underdogs who start as outsiders but then become the very core of what being 'inside' means. Think Einstein and the patent office. Or Mendel, an 'uncertified substitute teacher' whose day job was being an Augustian monk but whose knowledge of amateur horticulture allowed him to win a race career biologists did not even know had started.
Outsiders doing important things appeals to the frontier spirit in Americans and there's nothing more like a wide open frontier than biology in the hands of hackers - biopunks.