Reflection on Research Project Participation in Decision Making by Members of DIY Communites

Reflect on the research project carried out by CreaLab (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts) in collaboration with the Hackteria network here.

Hey to all reviewers,
lets proceed like this: everybody reads through carefully the project report and comments online HERE:

Please try to at first not respond to other people but make up your own thought and then reply from an independent point of view.
by 18th December we ideally all went through the text once and we can start filtering out the most relevant sections and arguments to collect them in a condensed comment collection document.

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beyond the review. this is a great opportunity for all of us to study and reflect on earlier experiences, discussions and specifically what was implemented and came out here.

we also put together an overview of this collaboration with the HSLU research project on the hackteria wiki:

i tried to summarize a bit how this all came into being. see further down on the wiki under “Preperations and history of application, call it Phase 0”
as we kinda knew about this being on the horizon also during the preps for biofabbing we hoped to have this research team already involved, but then it turned out to get started a few months later. but so many overlapping interests and also kinda different focus more on the industry - community relation.
see other posts on Fair P(l)ay.

so beyond the review of that report, we can really also write more and reflect again. summarize our discussions from the last 2 years.

mr dusjagr

Happy to see and read that there is some action going on in this project review.

Some suggestions:

  • If you have been interviewed during the project you may want to add to your interview, explain or highlight important details.

  • If you have been in the workshop session you could add to the descriptions in the report or make some extra points explicit.

Generally if you feel more comfortable with writing a text in German feel free to do so, we can easily translate it later.

Keep up the good work.

Hi all, this is opit from Technarium hackerspace in Vilnius, Lithuania. I was passed on the opportunity to review the project report by EglÄ— Marija RamanauskaitÄ—. Here are a few expanded comments to the review, hopefully they can help improve the report a bit further.

First of all, as already mentioned by Paula, Alessandro, Julian and
RĂĽdiger, historical context linking DIY biology to hacker culture is
necessary, as it might be instrumental in explaining the divergent
values and incentives of DIY science practitioners and commercial
enterprises. A basic text explaining the fundamental values of this
culture is Himanen et al, 2001. I’ll quote a section from Eglė Marija
Ramanauskaitė’s MSc thesis (“Technarium Hackerspace: Community-Enabled
Informal Learning in Science and Technology”, Vilnius, 2016) where she
summarises it:

"Passion is one of the main values in the hacker ethic: hackers tend to
work on things that are “of intrinsic interest to them” (p.3-4) and that
they can pursue enthusiastically and joyfully. More importantly, this
goes in hand with the freedom to design own lives and work whenever and
however one is most comfortable working. <…> the reason they do
something is “that they find it very interesting and they like to share
this interesting thing with others” (ibid, p. xvii). This also adds the
second dimension of the hacker ethic – ability to share your work and
knowledge with others, which, according to L. Torvalds, is the highest
motivation for hackers as it can be.

The social dimension or social worth is also one of the fundamental
aspects of the hacker ethic, and is key to the formation of hackerspaces
as communities, where like-minded individuals can share space, knowledge
and tools to work on things of concern to them. <…> This leads to the
next fundamental point of the hacker ethic – openness, such as the open
sharing of your work (including the details of the creative process)
with the community at large, which is the core of the open source
software and open hardware movement (Lindtner et al., 2014). The ability
to share is, of course, a pre-requirement to get peer-recognition, and
therefore gain social worth. Even more importantly so, hackers believe
the economy of knowledge gaining lies in the ability to learn within the
community and by contributing something, gain even more in return as the
community discusses and improves upon your work (Himanen, 2001).
On top of that, The Hacker Ethic ascribes great value to activity,
creativity and caring."

These values and context are self-explanatory to members of DIY Bio
communities, but making it more explicit in the text might help put the
report’s findings into context.

Secondly, the sample and scope of the study must be well-defined and
clearly stated. I have not been involved in the interviews, so perhaps
the scope and aims of the study and the sample properties are obvious to
the other reviewers. However, it is not clear if the interviewed
entities are European, or even if they come from a single country. If
so, it should be clearly stated together with the study goals –
European DIY Bio communities and pharmacology/life sciences companies
are a very limited subset and it is not possible to draw generalised,
global conclusions from Eurocentric research. I also think that
describing the participants in more detail (i.e. company size, research
area, country of origin, or location and activity area of a community)
would be useful and would help provide context.

I did not find a clear justification why only DIY biology communities
and pharmacology/life sciences (the text is not clear, sometimes only
pharma companies are mentioned) companies were involved in the study.
That should be addressed. Pharmaceutical companies is a very narrow
subset of businesses that might benefit from collaboration with DIY Bio
communities. A few examples might include companies working on consumer
hardware and software (medical monitoring and wellness devices and apps,
gardening equipment such as hydroponics devices), education hardware and
software, medical and scientific software and hardware, food industry,
clothing industry, construction and landscaping industries, environment
monitoring, etc etc.

In addition to that, I find that the terms describing the investigated
communities are used loosely and interchangeably. Perhaps other
reviewers might help define the name for the communities involved? I
think DIY Bio is a common term, what do the others think might be a name
for us?

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