SciShops Barcelona Summer School: Learning how to start Science Shops
Between 16-20th of July, the first SciShops Summer School took place in Castelledefels, near Barcelona. The event was part of the SciShops project, funded by Horizon2020, in which the European Students’ Union (ESU) collaborates as a partner.
The project promotes the benefits of starting a science shop for every type of organisation and the advantages for civil society from being involved in science through community-based participatory research.
During the 5-days training, different organisations were provided with theoretical and practical tools to develop and sustain new Science Shops. Participants attended different lectures on the main aspects of science shop establishment and operation, workshops, visits to two Science Shops and also had the opportunity to learn best practices from case studies. Some of the attendants had experience in running a Science Shop project and the ones that are about to start were able to ask them some questions and learn from the challenges and weaknesses they have already faced.
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What is community-based research?
Participatory research evolved as an alternative system of knowledge production. It recognises average people as researchers themselves, in pursuit of answers to the questions of their daily struggle and survival. Under this system, the intention is to mobilise people affected by the problem under study to take action and become part of the process of change.
What are Science Shops?
Science shops were firstly established in the Netherlands in the 1970s. Since then, the concept expanded all over the world, across various types of organisations and fields. Being one model of community-based research, science shops bring together relevant stakeholders for demand-driven research projects.