Science Shops Wales

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Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Science Shops Wales

Dr. Steve

Harris


Schumacher Institute for Sustainable
Systems

Cardiff University

IAS Research Workshop Series: Climate Change and HE

October 26
th

2011

What is a Science Shop?

“A Science Shop provides
independent, participatory
research support in
response to concerns
experienced by civil
society”


What do Science Shops Do?

Science Shops provide civil society with expertise and
research support
at low or no cost
.

They use the term "science" in its broadest sense,
incorporating social and human sciences, as well as
natural, physical, engineering and technological
sciences


hence, inherently interdisciplinary

By opening up the resources of higher education and
other research institutions to the communities which
sustain them, Science Shops also enable students
and researchers to strengthen community links and
develop research with real local relevance


a ‘service
learning’
model

All models of science shop/CBR centre are essentially
‘demand
-
driven’ and interdisciplinary in operation


The Science Shops Movement

Origins in Europe/US student movements of late
60s/70s


70’s
: Netherlands, USA


80’s
:
Australia, Denmark,
England,
Northern Ireland,
Germany
,

Austria
,

France
, Belgium


90’s
:
Israel, Canada
,

Spain, Romania, Norway,

New
Zealand
,
Malaysia,

Czechoslovakia, South Korea, South
Africa


00’s
: Belgium (renewed), France (renewed),
South
Korea

(renewed), Portugal, Greece, Estonia, Latvia,
Iceland, Japan,
Wales
, Scotland, Ireland, Turkey

Currently in 34 countries around the world,
organised into national and international networks

Science Shops Wales

Set up in 2006 using a grant from the Strategic
Development Fund (SDF) of the Higher
Education Funding Council of
Wales

Central
hub in University of
Glamorgan

Operational model developed by selecting
features from the “spectrum of Science Shops”
around the world


Research through SCIPAS Reports, ISSNET

Aimed to undertake activities appropriate to civil
society in post
-
devolution Wales; primarily
focused on supporting statutory commitments to
participatory democracy, equality and sustainable
development



SSW
Setup

Budget £375 000 per annum + some additional
project
-
specific funding

3
-
4
major
initiatives, 10
-
15 short
-
term projects
ongoing throughout project

X projects completed, X people contacted by end
of project

8
full
-
time staff, multiple disciplines


Ecology, biology, engineering/renewable energy,
computing (cybernetics & general systems theory),
anthropology, humanities (basic literacy & numeracy),
social science, media studies (science communication)

6
-
8 contract
researchers also employed

14 outreach centres/contact
points established



Collaborators & ‘Co
-
creators’

Community/voluntary groups

NGOs

Regeneration Trusts

Local/regional authorities

Welsh Assembly Government

Schools


teachers, pupils & parents

Patient groups & health initiatives

Educators & Trainers


Criteria for Engagement

Research question/problem tractable,
practicable within available resources

‘Open Source’
-

public results, freely
available for use by all

Clients/collaborators with no (full) financial
means to access expertise by other routes

Ethical, oriented toward Science Shops
core values of promoting social,
environmental & cognitive justice

Principal Activities

Student project brokerage
-

short and medium
term research with civil society organisations

Bespoke research and action for/with community
sector/NGOs (using in
-
house or contact
researchers)

Collaborative work with University Research Units


data input, field work, publication

Collaboration in regional and national research
and knowledge
-
transfer initiatives

Outreach (workshops, events)

Education & Training

Publications


leaflets, handbooks, reports etc.

Phase 1 (2006
-
8) Outcomes

4 Science Shops and 7 Science Shop Contact
Points established

Review of operations in Quarter to April 2008
indicates move to a looser network model. In
Quarter to July 2008 3 full
-
time external Shops
converted to Contact Points with part
-
time staff
presence, producing 11 Contact Points with
remaining Science Shop/Network Hub at
Trefforest.

Year 1: c 1800 individuals engaged in non
-
accredited activity with Science Shops Wales


Year 2: c 2,800 individuals engaged in non
-
accredited activity with Science Shops Wales