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Living Knowledge Conference 2016

Dutch Science Shops may be special, they are not unique! We are members of the Living Knowledge (LK) Network, that consists of persons who are actively involved in Science Shops and Community Based Research around the world. Apart from contact through a website, mailing list and newsletter, there is a chance to meet each other every other year at a LK Conference. In June 2016 a big group of enthusiastic people will meet up for the 7th LK Conference in Dublin. Let’s meet some of them and see what they have been doing and hoping to find in Dublin.

Christine Gröneweg
Christine Gröneweg

From Germany: Christine Gröneweg

Which organisation do you work for?

The Science Shop Vechta/Cloppenburg. This is the Science Shop of the University of Vechta located in Cloppenburg, 30 km away from the Vechta campus.

What is the main goal of your organisation?

The Science Shop is an interface between science and society. The central point of our work is to provide access to science and to promote multilateral exchanges. This takes place in events on different topics (e.g. strategically use of life experience); providing information or literature references in response to questions or online conferences. It is a great advantage that the Science Shop isn’t located directly at the university. So the barriers of contact towards society are low. We still need to encourage more students in our science shop work, but we’re currently working on that.

How long have you been a member of the LK network?

The Science Shop Vechta/Cloppenburg has been founded in late 2012. Since then, we’re member of the LK network.

What does the LK Network mean to you?

We are currently working in the Living Knowledge EU-Project EnRRICH (Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education). Together with 12 other partner institutions we’re working to support the embedding of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in curricula by responding to the research needs of civil society organisations. Therefore we aim to improve the capacity of students and staff in higher education by developing knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to perform such kind of research. Right now I’m working on a seminar on integrating the RRI dimensions into the curriculum. We’re planning a Science Shop course with 25 students and research project with organisations for the upcoming summer term.

Can you describe a recent project?

Beyond the EnRRICH Project we’re working on topics like “life experience of elderly woman”, “local history” and “Aging”. In November 2015 we organized the first interactive Wissnet (association of German Science Shops) conference "Excellence for everybody!? Citizen science, higher education institutions and Science Shops – looking ahead” in Oldenburg. Nearly 100 participants took part in workshops, world cafés, lectures and project speed dating. The conference offered an interactive platform that brought scientists and citizens together and facilitated lively discussions. We hope that we can continue this success with a Wissnet conference in 2017.

When do you consider the LK Conference to be a success for you personally?

It is always inspiring and encouraging getting in touch with different people who work with enthusiasm in their science shops. At the LK Conference exactly this happens on a transdisciplinary level. I am happy to learn from other projects, to see what can be realized and also share a bit of my own experience. Moreover, it's nice to see familiar faces and meet new people. I consider the breaks as an important part of conferences, where you can have such interesting conversations. We hope that we can present our work in Dublin and share it with a larger audience. But even if we are not presenting, the Living Knowledge Conference is always fruitful and brings new spirit for your own science shop’s future.

Karen Nelson
Karen Nelson

From Canada: Karen Nelson

Which organisation do you work for?

The Community Engaged Scholarship Institute of the University of Guelph.

What is the main goal of your organisation?

The Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) is an intermediary organization that both builds capacity for and performs community engagement and social innovation. We work among faculty, civil society organizations, students, government, and other agencies that benefit from partnered and innovative research approaches.

At CESI’s Research Shop, we create interdisciplinary teams of graduate student interns and project managers working with community-based collaborations. In these teams they identify and address pressing social issues through community-based research (CBR) and knowledge mobilization.

How long have you been a member of the LK network?

CESI has been a part of the LK network for over 8 years.

Can you describe a recent project?

The Research Shop at CESI has recently completed a project for the Guelph-Wellington Poverty Taskforce (PTF) that explored the possibilities for creating an ID Bank for homeless and vulnerable persons within the community. An ID Bank is a safe place that allows clients without stable or secure housing to store their IDs.

Within this project informational interviews were conducted with four ID Banks in Ontario to help inform the PTF’s start-up and implementation process. We worked closely together with the PTF to create the research questions and to identify the other ID Banks, which were useful to interview. The PTF has informed us that this research has been very helpful in further discussions on the creation and implementation of an ID Bank in Guelph. They are hopeful to have one running within the next few months.

When do you consider the LK Conference to be a success for you personally?

As I am fairly new to the community based research field, I look forward to connecting with those interested in this field and learning more about what they do and how they do it. I am especially interested in networking with those running science/research shops and sharing how we operate, as well as sharing ideas and opportunities we see ahead of us.

Davy Lorans
Davy Lorans

From France: Davy Lorans

Which organisation do you work for?

The Science and Society department of the Université de Lyon.

What is the main goal of your organisation?

The Science and Society department acts as a cultural bridge between the researchers and civil society. Our main focus lies on discussing the direct impact that scientific activities can have on the daily life of citizens, for example issues related to health, environment and new technologies. As a Centre for Scientific, Technical and Industrial Culture, we are experimenting with and modelling of new forms of science communication. Our goal is to enhance the dialogue between all the actors of science and society.

Some of our actions are:

  • Cultural events and activities like National Science festival & European researchers night.
  • Science and society debates and dialogues
  • Creating a researchers platform in Science & Society: focus groups, interdisciplinary meetings
  • Performing research for civil society: the Science shop.

How long have you been a member of the LK network?

Since 2010, when the European PERARES project started. In that project we did benefit a lot from the exchange of experiences and the guidance of experienced coordinators. In 2013 this has led to the launch of our own Science Shop, which is adapted to our own culture and academic pattern.

What does the LK Network mean to you?

The LK newsletters, mail exchanges and of course biennial conferences offer inspiring and motivating moments to gain new contacts and different points of views. It enlarges our collaborative research community and keeps the science shop concept alive and fresh.

Can you describe a recent project?

In our third academic year, our science shop is running 11 projects. One of them is an interdisciplinary project that tackles a important topic: the medical desertification in rural areas. A Civil Society Organisation in the western part of our region set a simple question: Why are medical students less and less likely to settle in our region, despite the quality of life here?

We have selected a MSc student social psychology to investigate the actual motivation of medicine students in terms of geographical choices, with a focus on their representations towards this precise rural area. The supervisors are from social psychology and social geography. In addition to this team, we also involved two other fields of expertise: health economy (to assess the weight of financial motivations by young doctors) and medicine (to facilitate the access to medical students). This interdisciplinary study will last until June 2016, hopefully producing useful results for this particular rural area. We expect the results may be of interest to many other regions. In my experience, this is typical for science shop work!

When do you consider the LK Conference to be a success for you personally?

The 7th LK conference in Dublin will be the third for me. I discovered participation in Bonn (2012) and gained a lot of productive ideas and contacts in Copenhagen in 2014. In Dublin I will take a next step in my involvement, with a public presentation and debate based on: “A specific training to facilitate collaborative projects: sharing of a 3 years experiment at the Science Shop of the Université de Lyon”!

Catherine Bates
Catherine Bates

Meanwhile in Dublin: Catherine Bates

Which organisation do you work for?

Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Ireland. I am working in the Programme for Students Learning With Communities. The programme is a Science Shop-type structure, based in DIT's Access and Civic Engagement Office.

What is the main goal of your organisation?

To be a vibrant, professional hub connecting DIT students and staff to local, national and international communities, by linking learning with real life application, for mutual benefit.

How long have you been a member of the LK network?

I personally have been a member since soon after I started in the role of coordinating the Programme for Students Learning With Communities in 2008. But colleagues of mine in DIT have been members of LK for much longer. One of these is Claire McDonnell, who lectures in our Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre. She introduced me to the Network when I started, and I'm really pleased to be working with her still, as our two departments are jointly organising the LK 7 Conference.

Can you describe a recent project?

Our community-based research projects are continuing and new projects are developing. But our biggest project at the moment is our work on the LK Conference, which DIT will host in June. We are very lucky that our organising team is supported by colleagues across Europe and the globe, through their involvement in our Conference Steering Committee and in our Conference Programme Committee. These colleagues are from Higher Education Institutes, from Science Shops, and from Civil Society Organisations in Ireland and abroad. They are helping us to shape the conference to be a really interesting exploration of how to embed Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the Curriculum in Higher Education, as part of the Horizon 2020 EnRRICH project .

When do you consider the LK Conference to be a success for you personally?

I think if people leave the conference feeling inspired to improve and develop their work on collaborative research projects, and feel excited to be part of the growing community exploring and developing RRI, that will be a great success. And hopefully they'll also have had a lot of fun and made a lot of new friends in the process!

Laatst gewijzigd:08 augustus 2017 12:44