By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU.
Official launch of the Science Bus tour is today, the 12th of July, in Amsterdam.
In the Science Bus five Irish physicists ( four from Dublin City University and one from University College Dublin) have been selected as captains to lead this European initiative. The goal of this event is to organise scientific workshops with citizens around Europe to raise questions, encourage critical thinking and investigate the daily environment.
PhD researchers Claire O’Connell and Stephen Davitt will lead team one, DCU graduates Philip Smyth and Aoibheann Bird team two and Mark Langtry (graduate of UCD Physics is one of the leads in team three). They will have to present workshops all across Europe during a three week period.
The Science Bus forms part of a European project ‘Doing It Together Science’ in which 11 research institutions will collaborate with science galleries, museums and art institutions to host innovative workshops, exhibitions and activities to engage as many people as possible with citizen science.
In whatever country the bus stops, citizens will have to play the game and attend the proposed workshops, they will have to be “doing science together”. The idea is to raise awareness, build capacity and innovative lasting solutions grounded in society. It aims to build the institutional and policy foundations for deep public engagement in science and technology in Europe.
After the workshops, citizens should be able to answer questions going along the lines of ” How clean is the air in the street? How can it be measured? What lives in a yogurt? How can I consume less electricity? The science bus will also be searching for folks remedies. A folk remedy is an everyday trick usable to make or fx just about anything.
To make this happen a consortium of 11 partners across the EU brings expertise from a range of areas including community organising, policy development, engagement in science and technology, citizen science research, technical visits and knowledge transfer in two broad strands: Environmental Sustainability and BioDesign.