Earlier this year, Edgeryders and others wrote a neat research proposal called CCCP (a tongue-in-cheek acronym for Community as a Crucible for Citizen science Projects). It did not get funded, but we still like the idea behind it: doing citizen science (essentially citizen ethnography) on citizen science (essentially biohacking). Add to that the we believe in the biohacking movement, and we still feel committed to help where we can. So, we are considering applying to this call, with deadline March 2019.
This new 2019 call is not identical to the 2018 one we responded to. The main differences are:
- Projects funded under it are supposed to engage with “existing citizen science projects” as opposed to starting their own in-house projects, as we did with CCCP. Among them, we should engage with the projects funded by the same EU program (Anique is doing a check on them).
- The budget is going to be smaller (~2.5 million instead of ~3 million).
So, here’s the idea.
- We identify a number of possible partners that plan to be doing citizen science stuff in 2020-2022. That would be you.
- We find a way to write them into the proposal.
- We incorporate in the proposal a fellowship program, derived from the one in OpenCare. Fellows would be people that come from your communities and are paid to connect your projects to each other and to the new iteration of CCCP. IN practice, fellows have some paid time to devote to developing their own communities and project. So, there is a fair exchange here: CCCP-2 gets access, information and data, and the grassroots communities get some financial support. This is the same idea that was behind the OpenCare fellowship won by @winnieponcelet and others.
In practice, what we want to get at is a reflection on the role of citizen science in society. Already in CCCP, we had the idea that citizen science is not “normal” science done by unpaid researchers, but something else entirely. This something else derives by the rich context that citizen science data are embedded in. Since then, Winnie reports radicalizing. The following is not verbatim, but a hopefully faithful reconstruction of a conversation we had recently:
WINNIE – “Scientists think there are ‘the data’. This is false. There is no such thing as ‘the data’. All data are contextual, all data are partial. The fiction of ‘the data’ underpinning credentialed science is so blatant that I no longer think of myself as a scientist. I may even be an anti-scientist.”
ALBERTO – “This reminds me of the epistemological wars of the 16th-17th century, as natural philosophers split between alchemists and the Invisible College, that would later become modern science. Science won on openness and sharing results, but the alchemists had some interesting points about connectedness of phenomena and what today we would call self-similarity of the physical world. Maybe you are now an alchemist!”
Ok, this is Edgeryders-style wild speculation, but understanding what non-scientists can do with science is important and urgent, and has immediate consequences for how organizations like Reagent and Hackuarium position themselves. In the project, we would have this discussion online – referencing actual wet lab work as often as possible – and then do citizen ethnography on it.
@anique.yael and I would like to suggest a call with Winnie, @dfko, @rachel, @cindys, @Dorsaf (on the biohacking side) and @amelia, @akmunk and @meta (on the ethno side) to discuss the idea and its implications for all of us. If we all think this can fly, the ER Research Network can take the lead on trying to get the funding.
If this sounds interesting, please let us know the dates when you are available through the poll below.
- Monday 5th November at 15.00 CET
- Monday 5th November at 16.00 CET
- Monday 5th November at 17.00 CET
- Tuesday 6th November at 15.00 CET
- Tuesday 6th November at 16.00 CET
- Tuesday 6th November at 17.00 CET