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The Playspace of Publicly Initiated Scientific Research

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Information about The Playspace of Publicly Initiated Scientific Research
Education

Published on February 25, 2014

Author: ucl_ExCiteS

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Flying kites and balloons for aerial photography engages people in ways often not considered, as the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PublicLab.org) demonstrates. As an ideal, Publicly Initiated Scientific Research (PIScR) is a way we engage in research creating new ways of knowing and understanding, of exploring and doing, of tapping into our potential and of giving rise to unheard voices. As Gertz and Justo argue in their book "Env. monitoring with Arduino": understanding brings knowledge and with knowledge comes the power to make decisions that can change our lives for the better - from holding polluters accountable, campaigning to lower electricity and gas bills, to getting to know ourselves again for the first time! Our role is to untap the potential of people to address issues that are important to them; to acknowledge and push for a belief in people - in their abilities, their skills, their passions, their knowledges; which at the moment is highly undervalued and underestimated.
Play is a key component in our work at Citizens Without Borders: engaging with individuals and groups through play it is not only the way we learn but it also builds memories and experiences harnessed in enjoyment for doing something close at heart; it makes us feel a part of something greater. When engaging with DIY technologies and engaging in DIY research there is a very powerful element at work - there is genuine joy when learning that you are able to do, sense, or create something you did not think you could, especially, when you have made the invisible visible with your own hands. Playfulness embodies a sense of "involvement and detachment, self-expression and self-transcendence, individuality and cooperation" (Gwen Gordon, 2013). Boundaries become fluid, defences dissolve and give way to spontaneity. I believe that it is in this context and with this attitude that exploration and experimentation for discovery in publicly initiated scientific research can be kindled.
It is important to continue giving impetus to this by creating playspaces because many people are already taking initiative in solving their own problems, they are ingenious and resourceful, imaginative and creative - and they know the power that knowledge can bring.
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