InSIS Seminar Series - Civic Science and DIY Enquiry: critical perspectives and experiences from Jerusalem, London and New York

Presentation abstract:

This session illustrates DIY as practice and ethos through the work of the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab), a grassroots organisation and community that develops and applies open-source tools and techniques to social/environmental exploration and investigation.

The first part disambiguates DIY science as individual and collective action to reveal lessons learnt from practice and promotion of DIY. We also present the story and work of Public Lab: it’s beginnings and technique development journey. The second part looks at civic science where it is seldom explored: in urban-political conflict and hierarchical citizenship. We illustrate experiments with DIY aerial photography in East Jerusalem, bringing forth new forms of aerial testimony that challenge expert discourses in a human rights context. We end with an open Q&A and if time allows, the audience will engage in a prototyping exercise to experience DIY first hand.

Presenter Biographies:

Cindy Regalado is a research associate at University College London's Engineering department, developing and promoting public engagement methodologies of ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) and ‘doing it together’ science practice. She is a London-based community organiser for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science training communities, activists, and stewards on the use of DIY tools for environmental monitoring. She is co-founder of Citizens without Borders, a London-based group committed to building the public’s capacity to act as civic agents. She leads on the initiative "Science has no Borders" through the EU Horizon 2020 project ‘Doing It Together science’, which aims to bridge the gap between public engagement and policy action on Responsible Research and Innovation.

Hagit Keysar is a researcher and activist living in Israel-Palestine. She is a PhD candidate at the Politics and Government department in Ben Gurion University (Israel) and takes part in Public Lab’s open source community (Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science). In her PhD thesis, titled: “Prototyping the Civic View From Above: DIY Aerial Photography in Israel-Palestine”, Hagit critically examined how DIY aerial photography, and more widely “civic science,” functions in situations of civic inequalities and human rights violations. Hagit completed her MA with distinction from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in the University of Manchester (UK) and BA in Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design, Jerusalem.


Science in your own hands? Promises and perils of DIY science