Aligning an entire country to develop an Open Science action plan

Taking Open Science ideas and putting them into practice is a challenge. Even at institutional level there are many different stakeholders with different motivations and challenges who need to support Open Science initiatives. At a national level, these challenges are even greater with many institutions and governing bodies needing to find common ground. This is a challenge that has been taken up in the ORION project and the Czech partner CEITEC - the Central European Institute of Technology, set about changing the way that their institution engaged in Open Science.

Encouraging co-creation through a funding call

A major goal of the ORION project was to open a funding call that encouraged different stakeholders to come together and present new and innovate ways to make science more accessible and participatory. The overall aim of this funding call was to support long-term collaboration between unusual/different stakeholders.

Engaging at every level for deep institutional change

Embedding institutional change is a challenging process that requires the buy-in from diverse groups of stakeholders. The ORION partner Instituto de Salud Carlos III in Spain had the ambitious goal of embedding Responsible Research and Innovation, RRI, right at the heart of the institution so that it would filter through into all of their research practices and projects.

Inspiring Stories booklet

This booklet is a compilation of nine Inspiring Stories which captures the "EUREKA moment" in the public engagement activities and embedding of Open Science and RRI performed during the ORION Open Science project. The stories showcase a variety of different engagement and Open Science aspects: citizen science, co-creation, public dialogues,...

Introducing co-creation in fundamental life sciences?

Genigma is one of the two citizen science projects that has received funding from the ORION Open Science project. The Genigma project, managed by CNAG-CRG, is developing a game to explore the genomic alterations in cancer cells. The idea of the game is the result of a collaboration between the scientific team and a group of citizens who have participated in co-creation events previous to the game development.

Online education tool helped researcher apply for funding

Online education is now more popular and essential than ever. Students are supplementing, and during the pandemic even replacing, their in-person education with online lectures and professionals are taking advantage of the convenience to learn new skills online. One example of an online course format is the MOOC which stands for Massive Open Online Course and has become popular among universities who put courses online for anyone to take, free of charge.

Pollution project captures the imagination of primary school children

Talking about pollution on a global level is important, but for communities, it is equally important to understand and discuss how pollution is affecting their local environment. Protecting areas of local natural beauty is crucial in local communities, but this is difficult to achieve if people don’t know about the environmental threats that their local area faces. Klára Vaculíková from Brno University technology designed a project to engage school classes who helped to monitor levels of the water pollutant phosphorus in the Moravský kras which is a spectacular natural limestone feature to the north of Brno. This project was funded as part of a co-creation call from the ORION partner JCMM.

Thinking differently through dialogue

To help open science up to a wider audience, ORION organised a number of public dialogues in the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic during 2019-2020. One purpose of the dialogues was to explore public attitudes to genome editing technology, which has revolutionized scientific research in the past decade and has the potential for broad societal impact. The dialogues also aimed to understand how to engage the public on disruptive technologies and how public engagement strategies could vary between countries. Information about the potential use of the technology has led to a wide variety of different opinions and reactions from the public, which are not always based on scientific fact. The empirical evidence gathered during the dialogues will provide the basis of future communications strategies within the ORION institutions.

Using Art as a way to level the playing field when discussing science

Can art help to explain scientific concepts? During the course of the ORION project, artist Emilia Tikka designed an art piece to represent a possible future scenario where it was possible to prevent aging using genome editing. The art piece was produced by Tikka while she was on a residency with the ORION partner, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin. There she spent time in a molecular biology lab and developed the concept for her art piece titled “ÆON - Trajectories of Longevity and CRISPR.”

What are the advantages of a podcast for communicating about Open Science?

The ORION Open Science Podcast started as a way to communicate with new audiences. For science to be open, information has to be accessible, and taking advantage of this unique audio medium was too good an opportunity to pass up. The podcast officially launched with episode one in 2019 and is now in its second season with the podcast hosts Luiza Bengtsson and Zoe Ingram who have deep dive discussions with experts on a wide variety of topics related to Open Science.