DIY Science includes a great variety of tendencies, variously described as amateur, ‘garage’, ‘citizens’, ‘extreme citizen’ and activist. Although now small and marginal, they will surely grow, along with their challenges to mainstream science.There will be problems to be resolved, as established science loses its monopoly of accredited status in the provision of knowledge and advice. But the challenge should be productive of new thinking and new practices, enriching science in many ways as the two streams interact.
There are also internal challenges to DIY science. Salient among these is the quality assurance of scientific production. Up to now this has been supported by rigid structures of status, that determine who is entitled to be recognized as a ‘scientist’. That status is required for gaining access to the resources that support both research and publication. The system is designed, in part, to protect science against the worst excesses of fraud and charlatanism. In the new and untested forms of social practice of DIY science, quality assurance will need to be reconstructed in the absence of established institutions of status. There is a new ethic for knowledge in open communities, well described as ‘creative commons’. But this would need to be adapted to the world of discovery, which is somewhat different from that of invention.
The proposed workshop will enlist a group of scholars and activists who are committed to the discussion of these important issues, both the interactions with established science and the quality assurance of DIY science.
The workshop will be organised in a mix of formats, including invited talks, in conversation with, panels and open discussions to respond to emerging questions as we go along.
The Scientific Committee:
- Jerome Ravetz
- Ângela Guimarães Pereira
- Susana Nascimento