Who get paid for your work?
70% in the room say they get some money out of biohacking
Ruediger often faces problems like this. Partially employed with consultancies (e.g. parliament) – freelance and part time job. But the content creation was happening in unpaid spare time. I.e. consulting parliament on problems he was creating in spare time
But this isn’t sustainable. Institutions and universities were interested in workshops in content, etc. but they didn’t even know how to interact with that in terms of payment / freelance contract, etc. They usually bring in other academics from institutions who are on payroll, so they don’t realize how to work with freelancers.
Institutions are customers. It should be normal to get paid for work. But in his institution / academic context people don’t realize this. It’s a fundamental problem we should discuss. How can we make institutions realize this?
Note: For biologists there is no lobby. There is for medicines, for doctors, for lawyers, etc. and they lobby on behalf of their constituents. How do we build up a lobby for biologists? To achieve influence on politics. E.g. chemists are allowed to do tests for something… biologists aren’t.
But we are talking about open science – it oesnt make sense to lobby for biologists. I wrote “How can art scientists make a living and not starve”. I think how about a lobby of a nonexistent job. What we are doing is a bit between art – science.
Who will do the content if nobody pays for it?
All these festivals, etc. you do it for fun / hobby, but also a job.
To what extent are you willing to compromise? If somebody offers you a job – what would you compromise? Values?
Maybe job is the wrong work. It’s not a 5-9 job.
What we really need to address is the power imbalance between freelancers and institutions.
Freelancers: In the sense of normal jobs, i.e. a flexible worker, like a graphic designer?
In Germany you can’t be a freelancer if you only have one customer (workers’ rights).
The question is how to make a living, either as a freelancer with good conditions or as a permanent employee.
E.g. as a freelancer if you have 4-5 employments a month, then it’s maybe ok. But institutions are hard to convince that our “work” is worth this sort of money.
Same problem with DITOs project. They get funding for academic institutions, hire academics, etc. Take freelance /g grassroots content without paying for it, and get money from EU commission for it. This is a rip off
Biotehna: We are essentially a freelance institution but we do have an institution and can get grants. We use the DITOs money to create workshops and we’re able now to pay people who worked for us before. (but maybe this is an exception rather than a rule). The CRI e.g. was able to employ Lena like that.
Luc: When people ask for funding, they can usually ask for funding for external costs. But for DITOs they didn’t. So this has to be lobbied for. Currently when people apply for a grant, they can ask for exernal costs, but they don’t because maybe they think it decreases chances of getting grant, or maybe they think they don’t need it.
Sometimes there is also a lack of imagination / experience on how to account for these costs. It’s possible maybe but not done.
The real problem is that we are not eligible for funding. We need to be a third party / beneficiary.
Why don’t you create a legal construct like an association? We (Chris) apply for sponsorship via that so we can hire people via that.
There are two questions:
There are associations that run spaces that need to be sustainable
And there are people who are freelancers, etc. who want to make a living.
There is a lot of grants and hype around this topic, but the money doesn’t go to the actual practitioners. We should try to suggest how spaces and people can benefit. This is very critical, because otherwise there will be nobody after us who will do this, and we will all eventually get jobs.
Can we institutionalize our competencies / skills and have accreditations. To show to somebody that you have skills that are recognition. “Chartered Biohackers”, e.g.
Maybe that idea of a charter / lobby / union can be extended to have a value / culture statement. Often there seems to be a lack of awareness from institutions that just expect things to be free, and also for us, where we seem not to think that we can say no and ask for money.
So “how to” guides, this is how you calculate what you should earn, etc. and templates of how to ask for that and justify that, you know how to do that.
This might work for established practitioners, but for people who are starting, or in countries that don’t have so much infrastructure, what can you do. It’s not like a “union” can kick you out if you’re not following this or are undercutting wages.
Should we have numbers? / Recommended wages?
How is it for artists / musicians? There are normal rates for e.g. talk / an exhibition / etc
But when you’re dealing with an art gallery, the conversation is not like with a business. They say “we love this, we’d like to have it” – “yeah, I’d like to come” – “ ah, but we have no money… oh no, we can’t pay for transport”… The correct way is not to say “I’d like to come, here is my price” – it doesn’t often work.
Our task will be to show that we are bringing content.
Standard example projects with concert costs.
Making budget transparent for Academies and bookers. Showing how it is spend.
Even big organization are not paying. Rudiger was invited for a workshop in future BIOTOPIA Museum in Munich. Staff refused to pay his contribution.
Need to explain. What is citizen science? Is it an academic approach or outside academic approach to science. To fight the narrative that it is not professional. Citizen science
Do we need a new name for citizen Science? Install a name as a brand, like hackers.
What do we create? Sellable values:
Workshops, Interaction, art, making/hacking, production of items, talks, exhibitions, consulting,
1. Building confidence
- Code of conduct
Install clear rules how to proceed with freelancers,
- Lobbying for mechanism of funding
Building code of treatment within the organizations, mention it, fight for it
Make Budget planning transparent
- Building up trust
What could be at the website?
Rating workshops, credit system, building trust
- Recommended rates, example calculations
- Profile pages
- Best practice Example like workshops, shows
- Option to share best practice within the group
In communication referring to the manifesto.
Solution: put up a quick website