Do you think science is perfect, or is there something about it you want to change? And can the internet help you do it?
- Is the peer review system broken?
- Why do we still publish research papers? What are the problems with the system?
- What’s the proper relationship between government and scientific advisors?
- Are there barriers (that we could change) to women excelling in science, or are they just not as good at it? What about ethnic minorities and people from different socioeconomic groups?
- How can scientists explain the value of their work (and funding it)?
- Are scientists answering (or asking) the questions that really matter?
- Are there ways that scientists could gain by communicating better with others in their field? With scientists in other fields? With people outside science?
- Fold.it and Galaxy Zoo are great. Are there other areas where people could get involved in actually taking part in science?
What these, and many more questions have in common is that they partly have to do with communication, and communication is something that the internet is good at. Here at Gallomanor, we’ve been involved in democratic engagement using online tools since 2002.
We are total fans of things like They Work For You, which makes it easy for everyone to find out what their MP is up to, and contact them. We’re fans of Armchair Auditor, which lets you see how your council spends your money. We’re fans of TextSafe Gorton, which makes it easier for a local community to engage with the police in their area.
We think these are simple things which make a difference. Are there things like this that science could do with all the online technologies now available, that we haven’t thought of yet? To put it bluntly, are we missing any tricks?
If so, we want to help! So we’ve decided, with the help of the marvellous Wellcome Trust, to try to do something about it. We’re bringing together a range of people involved in science, science engagement and science policy, along with some hackers and developers from the online civil society scene, to see what they can all spark off in each other.
Event will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 20th October, at the Wellcome Trust. Put it in your diary! Tickets will be released early next week.