Dr Luiza Bengtsson works for the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association, MDC, and is Work Package Leader for the Training Work Package of the ORION Open Science project.
Firstly, tell us a bit about MDC
Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association is a non-profit, government-funded research institute. Our mission is to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind the inner workings of living organisms in order to identify molecular causes of diseases and find ways for correcting these. In short: we’re conducting fundamental research in life sciences.
What comes to mind when you talk about open science?
Collaboration, fairness, value, inclusiveness, effectiveness, progress... All positive attributes of scientific endeavour for the greater good for all.
What is the motivation behind MDC getting involved in the ORION Open Science project?
Open access has been a topic at the MDC for a long time. Already roughly 5 years ago we hosted a talk series on the topic. Also, before ORION, we made some first steps towards citizen science and have been successively enlarging our public engagement activities. ORION was a logical next step to consolidate, further expand and systemize our efforts towards Open Science.
What do you hope to achieve through the project?
We hope to raise awareness for Open Science, at the MDC and scientific community at large. Changes in actual practices may take time, but by providing researchers and research support professionals with knowledge and tools for implementation, we hope to inspire and enthuse for this transition.
What do you see is the greatest challenge for ORION?
So much to do and so little time... The scientific community is yearning for Open Science, for training, for opportunities to practise... Our consortium and financial possibilities are simply not big enough to answer all the calls.
What do you personally find most interesting/exciting about the ORION project?
Already in the first two years, ORION enabled me to work on several fantastic projects: the art-science collaboration on genome editing, the open science podcast, the face-to-face trainings... This is what excites me most about ORION: working with fantastic people, learning a lot in the process and achieving tangible results, all while working towards a very desirable goal.
In three years, when the project is coming to an end, what is your dream scenario for ORION?
First of all, I hope that in three years we have reached at least most of our objectives. I hope for new and surprising results from our co-creation experiments and an appetite for more ORION, in the scientific community and among the public. Furthermore, I hope that by then, we have found a way to continue advocating for Open Science beyond the life-time of the ORION-project.