“All of us, regardless of our background, have a major role to play in addressing the challenges to a sustainable future. It is by ‘doing science together’ that we combine our resources and expertise to raise awareness, build capacity, and innovative lasting solutions grounded in society.” This is the motto of our project TogetherScience.eu.
Hello Everyone! It is with great excitement that I join the first #OpenVillage in Brussels. At OpenVillage I look forward to meeting and learning from you all and being inspired by your ideas, approaches, joy for life, and drive. I also look forward to roll-up my sleeves and connect, hands-on, with projects that seek to engender meaningful change socially and personally.
As many of you reading this, I wear ‘several hats’, pulling knowledge, ideas, and resources from various sources and experiences to create engaging spaces/conditions for enriching exchanges. My hats: I am a research associate at the Extreme Citizen Science research group with Prof Muki Haklay at University College London. Here I develop and promote techniques for public engagement in Do-It-Yourself science and technology. My research focuses on the taken-for-granted process of inquiry that underlie all exploration and discovery and which represent ownership over learning and action: figuring things out by oneself, experimenting, seeking knowledge, and questioning the state of things to find potential solutions to local concerns. I have also developed frameworks for the understanding of factors influencing our engagement in inquiry and initiative-taking at the personal, organisational, and societal levels. I am also a London-based community organiser for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, a not-for-profit organisation and community that creates accessible, low-cost civically engaged monitoring methods. As community organiser I work with communities, researchers, and stewards on the use and development of DIY tools for environmental monitoring. I am also co-founder of Citizens without Borders, a London-based group dedicated to creating spaces for exchange that build the public’s capacity to act as civic agents. I am founder of ‘Science has no Borders’, an initiative through our project TogetherScience.eu, which is committed to science that benefits from community and aims at creating an environment for networked engagement to learn, connect, and gain feedback on ideas, prototypes, and projects. Together with my team at UCL we lead on the Horizon 2020 EU project, “Doing It Together Science” - TogetherScience.eu, which aims to bridge the gap between civic agency in science/technology and policy. In this project I focus on consortium management, development of public engagement activities in Biodesign and Environmental Sustainability, the formative evaluation of the project, and the capacity building, self-care, and well-being of science event facilitators and ‘DIY science educators’. For the latter, we are creating online resources on shared good practice, gaining meaningful feedback, engagement, outreach, science communication, and inclusion techniques.
I’ll be participating in the Infrastructures for Autonomy panel discussing sustainability of initiatives and organiser’s self-care. I will be also video-documenting your learning and experiences at the festival - look out for a video camera if you’d like to share your voice (and discuss how the videos will be used)!