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Zoe Ingram
Zoe Ingram, MDC


Zoe Ingram works for the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) on the ORION work package responsible for training researchers, research managers and funders in Open Science.

She focuses on the didactical implementation in Open Science trainings, is co-host of the ORION Open Science Podcast and is also involved in coordinating and organizing outreach activities for scientists and citizens. 



What comes to mind when you talk about Open Science?

I think about the way that science is done and how it could be done. For me Open Science is the equivalent of good science: science that is rigorous, accessible and reproducible.  Open Science is the way of doing science where transparency, accountability, open communication, accessibility, the reuse of data and collaboration are driving principles that govern how scientists interact with each other, on the one side. While on the other side Open Science is about having a stronger involvement of citizens in science and science being more relevant and accessible to the public. 

What is the motivation behind the MDC getting involved in the ORION Open Science project?

As the project is nearing its end, I think the question of what the motivation was is less interesting, but what keeps us at the MDC engaged and fired up about the ORION project is, that we do through our training activities, podcasts and public engagement and outreach activities make a difference in spreading the idea of Open Science and making science more accessible to the public — or at least it feels like it. 

What do you hope to achieve through the project?

I hope that the ORION project will stand for a project that has contributed to change within the scientific sector. The project takes many approaches to make science more open and accessible, whether this be through starting out with benchmarking what the status quo of Open Science is within our institutes and finding out how much the public wants to be involved in research (through the pan European public surveys), or the co-creation calls, public dialogs and citizen science projects or the trainings that we conducted in Open Science in several European countries with researchers, researcher managers and funders. All these activities have value for themselves but together they really are a novel approach to involving more stakeholders into the process of research, raising awareness about the concept of Open Science and pushing for a new understanding of what good science is and how it should be done. I hope that this project plays a part in creating a new perception of what science looks like in this digital and technological day and age. 

What do you see is the greatest challenge for ORION?

As I mentioned before, due to the manifold of the activities one might overlook its achievements. Also, the nature of these types of projects, that at one point they come to an end, raises the question of what will happen with all of the experiences and resources that have been created. I see the greatest challenge now is sharing what we have learned and created, and making the project more known. 

What do you personally find most interesting/exciting about the ORION project?

I personally find the ORION Open Science podcast — that is on all things open science — the most exciting. We have had some pretty interesting topics and distinguished guests that are really bringing open science forward. I am looking forward to the third season that will be starting in the beginning of 2021. 

In one year, when the project is coming to an end, what is your dream scenario for ORION?

I hope the ORION Open Science project, will live on in the sense that people talk about it, that the resources continue to be usedas is the case with the FOSTER EU-project. I hope that people will look towards the ORION for examples and as a guide of how to bring more science into society and more society into science.