Report on Gathering for Open Science Hardware 2017
Prepared for the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, December 2017
Table of Contents
Executive Summary 2
GOSH 2017 Meeting in Santiago, Chile 3
Recruitment of Participants 3
The Gathering 3
Full Schedule 5
Participant Evaluation 7
Progress towards metrics 9
Reaching a diverse set of at least 75 highly-engaged participants 9
Online report detailing sessions plus slides, recordings, and other materials shared under open licenses 11
Identification of "community champions" who will coordinate activity in their discipline or region 11
Other Outcomes 14
GOSH Roadmap for Open Science Hardware 16
The Roadmap Process 16
Roadmap Session at GOSH 2017, 23-25 March 17
Community Drafting Process, Mar - Sep 2017 18
Writing Workshop, 25-27 Sep 2017 19
Final drafting and community comment period 19
Graphic Design 19
Progress towards metrics 19
Lessons Learned During the Project 21
GOSH 2017 21
GOSH Roadmap 23
Future Plans for GOSH 24
Appendix 1: GOSH 2017 Media and Online Coverage 26
Citation in Journal Articles 26
Media Coverage 26
Online Magazines/Journal Blogs 27
Personal Blogs 27
GOSH Mentions in External Reports and Conference Presentations 28
Hardware forms a vital part of the scientific experimental process and the current supply chain limits access and impedes creativity and customization through high mark-ups and proprietary designs. Open source hardware addresses part of this problem through sharing open designs, which often take advantage of modern digital fabrication techniques. Expanding the reach of this approach within academic research, citizen science and education has potential to increase access to experimental tools and ease their customization and reuse while lowering costs. A growing number of people around the world are developing and using open source hardware in the context of the wider movement for Open Science, a trend we refer to in this proposal as Open Science Hardware (OScH). However, a coherent, self-organizing community is only just starting to emerge that could raise its profile and drive the social change within institutions that will increase uptake.
The Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) 2017 in Santiago de Chile was designed to nurture and grow the OScH nascent community, building on the success of GOSH 2016 which brought together 50 of the most active developers and users of Open Science Hardware and resulted in the articulation of a set of community values through the GOSH Manifesto. GOSH 2017 enabled a wide selection of people from the OScH community, including those in the global South and particularly Latin America, to articulate their strategy for change in the form of an actionable roadmap to bring together the people, skills and tools needed to make open science hardware ubiquitous by 2025.
The GOSH Community has been incredibly active so far and shows signs of gathering pace for 2018, indicating that the targeted intervention of convening an international meeting that enabled a large portion of a nascent community to meet in person and articulate a clear set of goals has been effective at catalysing activity in OScH.
© GOSH Community, 2017
Authors: Jenny Molloy and Shannon Dosemagen
Licensed under CC-BY 4.0
GOSH 2017 took place over four days at the Anacleto Angelini Innovation Centre in the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago. The theme was ‘Building a Movement’.
There is a full community report of the meeting available online:
159 people applied to attend GOSH and just under 100 were selected by the committee via an iterative process with multiple reviewers, including a community review by GOSH 2016 attendees to prioritise the waiting list. The organisers looked for participants who were collectively approaching OScH from a diversity of perspectives and for people who demonstrated that they could be an asset and champion for the OScH movement including and beyond technology. In some cases this meant that people with policy, legal or fundraising experience received stronger consideration than people that had clear technical experience with OScH, but tool developers were a crucial group of participants. Demographic goals were used to choose between different people with similar applications or where there was a split in opinion and were also used to prioritise travel grants.
The final participants included:
They came from 30 countries, despite visa issues meaning two participants from Nigeria and Sudan had to withdraw at late notice. A small number of other accepted applicants withdrew due to US visa and travel issues, illness or other reasons. The majority of participants who withdrew for non-visa reasons were women, totalling nine in the run up to GOSH. We would like to understand this better in order to make any changes that would avoid a similar situation for GOSH 2018 but there was no discernible pattern in the reasons given.
GOSH 2017 started on 23 March 2017 with a history of GOSH and introduction to the code of conduct and facilitation tips before a speed meeting to allow participants to get to know each other.
An open poster and exhibition booth session then invited participants, high school students, undergraduates and the general public to see hardware demonstrations and interact with the attendees in the atrium of the Innovation Centre.
The launch of the full Gathering programme that afternoon included a background to the GOSH Manifesto and the launch of the Journal of Open Hardware - an outcome of GOSH 2016. This was followed by a series of ‘pivot talks’. These were both by application and invitation and were intended to represent the diversity of location, gender, background, and interests of the participants. We asked speakers to address collective themes that impact the community and not focus on promoting an individual’s projects alone. Speakers were asked to consider what brought them to open science hardware and how the GOSH Manifesto values relate to their work or interests or situation. The pivot talks were:
Unconference style discussion groups then took place over the next two days covering different topics such as: scaling up open hardware production, standards for safety and quality, the impact of open science hardware in developing countries, inclusivity and diversity, the embedded politics of scientific tools, and interactions between art and science (see Full Schedule below). The participants focused on sharing experiences as users and developers of open science hardware, identifying best practices, collaborating to create opportunities and address failures, and building lasting friendships and connections across the world. Sessions were documented on the GOSH Forum.
The unconference sessions were not only focused on the technical aspects of open science hardware, but also on making an effort in finding common values and critical actions to establish open science hardware as ubiquitous by 2025. GOSH 2017 culminated in collaboratively outlining a roadmap for open science hardware that could change the norms within established, institutional science. This roadmap enables researchers to openly share knowledge and technology; research that can happen in or out of the academy, lab, or commercial spaces; and science to take place where it would not usually happen. See the ‘GOSH Roadmap’ section for full details.
Outside of the formal programme, a social evening was hosted by a local hackerspace and cultural venue, a set of artistic and musical performances was compiled by participants for the GOSH dinner at Bar Radicales, and work sessions and an additional public exhibition were organized by the participants, in the days following GOSH.
Wednesday, March 22nd 2017
GOSH history, background, intro to CoC
Lunch and setting up of posters
Open poster session and tables
Anacleto Angelini Innovation Centre and UC welcome
GOSH movement introduction
Launch of the community-run Journal of Open Hardware
Short stories of OSH
– Max Liboiron – Open Science Hardware for Equity
– Jorge Appiah – Open Science Hardware: A tool for Africa’s innovation and Development
– Andrew Thaler – Open Source for an Open Ocean
– Rafael Pezzi – Collaborative tools for open hardware development community
– Xiamyra Daal – BioHack Academy
Open discussion and Q&A
Reception at The Clinic/Bar Radicales
Thursday, March 23rd 2017
Unconference Space A
Unconference Space B
Unconference Space C
Unconference Space D
Unconference Space E
Biology, Life Sciences, Microfluidics
OSH tools enabling education
Performative and Interactive art
Open Source in Developing countries
Philosophy in practice
Agriculture and environmental data collection
Promote teaching of Open Source Hardware
Visionary science speculative fiction
Policies, legal, and more
Dinner at The Clinic/Bar Radicales
Friday, March 24th 2017
Unconference Space A
Unconference Space B
Unconference Space C
Unconference Space D
Documentation and publication workshop with Tobey
Design skills with Maria
Make an OSH business plan with Greg and Tara
Discussing Anti Capitalist OSH
Contextualizing OSH: lessons from the Global South with Thomas
Mixed signal PCB design with Joel
OSH for citizen science. Defining citizen science, resources, ethics, values and networks.
“Workshopology”: sharing workshop models with Juanma.
GOSH roadmap: introduction and definition of core values of community
GOSH roadmap: add more ideas and post-its to the different areas
GOSH roadmap: prioritize the objectives and ideas
GOSH roadmap: questions, answers, discussion.
Saturday, March 25th 2017
Unconference Space A
Unconference Space B
Unconference Space C
Unconference Space D
Unconference Space E
Build your own waterscope microscope with Richard
DIY CAD. Draw circuit boards, and soldering, with Marc
Hands-on DocuBricks documentation with Tobey
Politics in technology with Jeff
Identify a project to collaborate with Greg
Python for science
Applying for funding, with Bethan
Design skills with Maria
OSH curriculum building with Andrew
How to make human powered aircraft with Shingo
Fix it together with Ellen
Extra afternoon parallel sessions
GOSH documentation team working session
Latin-American GOSH meetup
Write a legal two-pagers about GOSH
The event evaluation was completed by 83% of participants. Below we summarise the main impressions of the event and outcomes. A full summary of results is available on Google Drive. This includes detailed suggestions for improvements on aspects of orientation and programme planning.
Overall evaluation of GOSH 2017 was very positive. Nearly 75% of participants gave their experience the highest possible ratings, despite many having unknown expectations before GOSH began. 97% would participate in the conference again. Respondents felt GOSH was most useful for networking, enhancing views on community development and expanding thoughts on equity, ethics, policy and legal considerations around OScH. In terms of activities, many participants felt that starting with presentations, giving way to workshops or hands on activities towards the end enabled focus and was a strong organizational format.
Improvements that participants hope to see most in future GOSH meetings are smaller group sizes, more hands-on projects (76.4% of participants), duplicate sessions for popular topics, methods to gain more depth within session topics, more spaces or scheduled time for rest and self-care, and more thorough introductions. Many participants expressed that networking, particularly with participants from the host region, was the most valuable aspect of the meeting. Some participants felt that GOSH was missing more adequate representation from minorities, and people from outside of the US or Western Europe, indicating that the organisers may need to set more ambitious demographic goals. Responses to the safety officer and code of conduct were positive, although suggestions were provided to improve clarity and the democratic process used for setting up the code of conduct in future years.
The desire for a locally-based project was expressed in several survey responses and reflects the nature of the participants as people who are highly active in the OScH space either using or developing tools. Two thirds of participants launched a new project (and several more expressed interest to do so in the future) and 80% of respondents found collaborators for existing projects. Additionally, twelve projects founded from GOSH 2016 are still ongoing. The importance of the GOSH Community and network arose as a theme in the positive feedback, and a desire for regional meet-ups was expressed in 80% of responses to a question about communication methods post-meeting. 64 attendees expressed interest in volunteering to help with the organisation of GOSH 2018.
Selection of participant comments:
“I see OSH as a potential vehicle for creating new kinds of publics beyond national and regional categories; mediating public action and critical forms of making through global distribution and local appropriation of material and social technologies, and knitting new kinds of relations between people around knowledge production. It was very powerful for me to find a wide group of people that share similar political imaginations in regard to the diverse work done with OSH.”
“Putting values in place is always important, but more important is making sure we practice those values at all times. I liked GOSH 2017 most because I felt the organizers made sure that the values were communicated clearly, and even if a few people may not really agree/or understand, all values were continuously practised. As the community grows, this will become more and more difficult. An effective strategy to keep values at the forefront needs to be thought of early on, and it needs to be continuously improved with time and needs. Kudos to all of you for starting this movement!”
“After my implication in many international network, I have many questions remaining unanswered. But now, with GOSH I have found my place, I meet my values, and I feel: I am where I have to be.”
“I would like to state again how amazing has GOSH2017 been to me! I had never been to Chile, I had never talked to such active and interesting people about the topics addressed during the gathering. I felt extremely well during the event and, intellectually speaking, I was thrilled with every discussion, unconference session, meeting or talk. GOSH changed the way I see open science, community work, community-driven research and science itself. It was good to get out of the lab and realize different applications for the knowledge I so much like to produce. Thank you very very much for this opportunity!”
GOSH 2017 had 100 participants who reflected the demographic goals of the Gathering to be diverse and inclusive (see graphic above and Recruitment of Participants), although feedback from participants recommended further improving representation from the global South for future meetings (see Participant Evaluation). Participants were highly-engaged during the event, as demonstrated by over 80% of unconference sessions having summaries and detailed notes posted on the GOSH Forum, an 83% response rate to the evaluation survey, and the 11 follow-up articles posted on personal websites, Medium, PLOS Blogs and in The Conversation. As per the participant evaluations, sixty-four attendees expressed interest in volunteering for organisational roles with GOSH 2018 and 97% of respondents would attend GOSH in the future.
Over 30 participants volunteered to author, edit or translate the GOSH Roadmap on the final day of the Gathering and have since been involved as contributing authors (see The Roadmap Process). Post-event engagement has continued online around numerous activities besides the Roadmap. The GOSH Forum was set up just prior to GOSH 2017 and now has 242 members and has accumulated 1400 posts with an average of 4 new posts per day. There are also a wide variety of activities from events to conference presentations to journal articles that are unlikely to have happened without the GOSH 2017 participants meeting each other at our Gathering.
Examples of engagement by participants after GOSH 2017 (see also “Identification of community champions”)
Both during and after GOSH 2017, there was significant coordination activity by participants (see also “Reaching a diverse set of at least 75 highly-engaged participants”). This resulted in several people championing OScH in their regions or disciplines.
Latin America - Fernan Federici (PUC, Chile), Rafael Pezzi (UFRGS, Brazil), Fernando Castro (National Technological University and Nodo39 Fablab, Argentina), Julieta Arancio (CENIT, Argentina), Paz Bernaldo (Exploratoria Sombrero, Chile), Gustavo Pereyra Irujo (CONICET, Argentina)
One of the intentions of GOSH 2017 was to seed a stronger community for OScH in Latin America. Latin America participants made up 34% of the GOSH attendees and the community convened during the meeting with regional unconference sessions. They continued to collaborate after the meeting via the Latino Americanas Community on the GOSH Forum.
A recent example of collaboration was that five GOSH participants presented GOSH at the first open and citizen science workshop in Buenos Aires on 3 Nov 2017. They discussed the GOSH movement in general and used their experience from GOSH 2017 as a trigger to talk about how the OScH movement might be understood from a perspective Latin American; difficulties and opportunities when developing or replicating scientific hardware in Argentina and other aspects. The session had 14 attendees and notes were posted to the GOSH Forum.
Julieta Arancio has also added open hardware projects discovered through GOSH and the Forum to an open science map of Latin America, which forms part of her PhD.
Africa - Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou (University of Laval, Canada) & Jorge Appiah (Kumasi Hive, Ghana)
Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou & Jorge Appiah, from Cameroon and Ghana respectively, are planning the Africa Open Science and Hardware (Africa OSH) Summit in April 2017 in Kumasi, Ghana. This meeting aims to connect an OScH community in Africa and translate the GOSH Roadmap into an African context.
North America - Shannon Dosemagen (Public Lab), Greg Austic (Our Sci), JP Maestre (University of Texas)
Eight GOSH 2017 participants and two other members of the community collaboratively authored a white paper in response to an NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Seeking Community Input for Topic Ideas to Accelerate Research Through International Network-to-Network Collaboration. The whitepaper was titled ‘Accelerating science and improving equitable access to hands-on STEM education through open science hardware’.
Europe - Kaspar Emanuel (Kitnic, UK), Jenny Molloy (University of Cambridge, UK), Tobey Wenzel (University of Cambridge, UK)
The GOSH Forum has been used to organise OScH or open hardware activities at European-based developer conferences like FOSDEM and the Chaos Computer Club Congress. GOSH participants also collaborated on bringing OScH to MozFest 2017 with a hands-on open source microscope session in the Youth Zone and a poster and discussion on documenting open science hardware in the Innovation Zone. The Biomaker Challenge in Cambridge, coordinated by Jenny Molloy, culminated in an Open Technology Workshop and Biomaker Fayre (see photo above) to promote OScH for research and education and featured three speakers from the GOSH Community.
Asia - Marc Dusseiller (Hackteria), David Li (Open Factory, China), Luping Xi (Open FIESTA Center, China)
Marc Dusseiller has been discussing and building towards residencies for open science hardware with collaborators in Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, many of whom engaged with the GOSH organisers to provide useful and detailed information about potential locations for hosting the next GOSH. Shenzhen was eventually selected as our 2018 location and we have recruited the support of David Li and Luping Xu who each collaborate complementary open hardware and open technology initiatives. We had fewer participants from Asia and no participants from Australasia at GOSH 2017 but hope that a GOSH 2018 event in China will rectify this and bring together more people regionally.
There are several GOSH 2017 participants who have gone on to coordinate specific features of the Roadmap or external activities in a domain or research field:
Ryan is liaising with the Metafluidics open microfluidics community about opportunities to collaborate with GOSH and has attended events such as the Global Community Biotechnology Summit where he has run hands-on OScH microfluidics workshops and promoted GOSH.
GOSH led directly to the initiation of a similar conference in the agriculture space with complementary goals to grow a community and a social movement (see www.openagdev.org), co-organised by GOSH 2017 participants Greg Austic and Dorn Cox. Additionally, GOSH Community activities were part of the discussion at the Foundation for Food and Ag Conference (FFAR) convening, where this large US government funded non-profit for agricultural innovation was asking for community feedback to set priorities for their next funding cycle. As a result, open hardware, software and data are now central to FFAR's next funding cycle and their long-term perspective on ag innovation.
Luis Felipe R. Murillo and Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou have been responsible for outlining a social scientific research agenda for OScH, which was summarised in the GOSH Roadmap but has expanded beyond that and is an on-going project. Stacey Kuznetsov has submitted a grant application to support more STS scholars to attend GOSH 2018 vis the NSF Science, Technology, and Society programme.
Champions in several other domains have been identified and will be involved in advocating and implementing the Roadmap in their respective disciplinary communities:
Next steps for the GOSH Community are making these Champions publicly identified online as a first point of contact for their respective regions and disciplines and mobilising to take OscH ideas to discipline-specific conferences.
Growing recognition as a hub for the OScH community
GOSH and the GOSH Forum are being recognised at a hub for connecting with members of the open science hardware community. For example:
GOSH kits for OScH development
The GOSH Community has packaged equipment purchased for the GOSH 2017 meeting into kits for people doing electronics projects who need high quality tools for development. The key elements are:
These are available for projects and workshops via the Public Lab Kits Initiative.
We were motivated to create a GOSH Roadmap because at GOSH 2016 it was clear that attendees were attempting to advocate for Open Science Hardware approaches within their institutions and at higher levels. They require and have started gathering material which lays out the impact of Open Science Hardware, emphasizing the aspects that are important to research administrators and policy makers, such as improved knowledge transfer, international exchange, accelerated innovation. The roadmap was intended to include this and also detail the actions those stakeholders can take alongside the community of Open Science Hardware developers and users to move the field forward and overcome barriers to implementation and uptake.
One primary goal was to have an impact on major science organizations – both funders and labs – by outlining clearly the many benefits of OSH for conventional science institutions, while detailing the remaining challenges facing its wider uptake. The Roadmap was intended to be complementary to the GOSH Manifesto, which is focused on building and articulating the values of the GOSH community. Additionally, we wanted the roadmap to be flexible and inclusive, and accommodate OScH uses, including rural, non-scaled, commercial and industrial, and art. Encouraging policies that are inclusive of OScH can achieve both of these goals.
These goals required consolidating input from a large community and while the GOSH Roadmap timeline originally had the Roadmap ready to launch at GOSH 2017, it became clear during the community consultation process that there was a need to expand input or risk publishing a document that was not representative. The process therefore extended and was effectively restarted during the final sessions of GOSH 2017, where the 100 attendees voted on their values, important items to include in an action plan to make OScH ubiquitous by 2025. The Roadmap is now available on the GOSH website and is going to print in January 2018.
Prior to GOSH 2017, the organisers held an initial brainstorming session in November 2016 and then convened a writing workshop at CERN 2-4 March 2017. The intention was to draft a complete outline of the GOSH Roadmap that would be available for comment prior to and during the GOSH 2017 meeting. Getting consensus on several issues and an outline that satisfied the many perspectives in the GOSH Community proved more challenging and time consuming than anticipated.
The outline below, as well as some of the points within it, emerged at this meeting:
It rapidly became clear that the draft required substantial reshaping by the participants at GOSH 2017 given our aspirations for it to have the ability to galvanise and be actionable by the community. Although detailed content could be reused, the structure of the document needed to be rethought. As a result, Max Liboiron facilitated an in-depth process of formulating actions from principles and our values as a community.
The final session of GOSH 2017 was an intense, facilitated brainstorming session. We put the nine sections on whiteboards, as well as a section about our shared values, our community members, and those we impact (stakeholders), and invited all participants to flesh out the sections.
We were mindful that the Manifesto values were articulated by a subset of GOSH 2016 participants and may not completely reflect the views of the larger GOSH 2017 group. Hence, we collectively outlined and prioritized our main values - 46 in all, with openness, sharing, respect for different knowledges, transparency, and sustainability being our most prevalent shared values. Subsequently, people added their ideas, resources, and questions to each of the nine sections. Finally, we chose which aspects of the roadmap each person would work on; some would steward the process, others would write and translate, and still others would take on smaller project within the framework to bring the framework into action.
GOSH Roadmap Workshop Participants
2-4 March 2017
25-27 Sep 2017
After GOSH 2017, point people were assigned to each section of the Roadmap and monthly calls were convened. In the latter stages, these took the form of two hour writing sessions where participants took on particular sections of the Roadmap. During this time the structure of the document underwent a transformation to a streamlined model with three sections: Learn, Support and Grow.
The Learn section includes any type of action aimed at gaining knowledge about OScH and/or our community, e.g. discussions, workshops, artistic explorations, researchers carrying out academic research. These actions aim at answering questions such as: What would be the broader relevance of our collective project? What can we do to gather information and knowledge about OScH to enable support and dissemination activities?
The Support section includes those actions aimed at creating the conditions for enabling the present and future of the OScH community by supporting people (e.g. mentorship, meetings, training), organizations/institutions (educational resources, agreement documents) and projects (e.g. testing, funding, designing, fabricating, licenses, that is, everything that belongs to a commons of Open Hardware development tools and infrastructures).
The Grow section includes actions aimed at increasing the diversity and scaling our community in terms of who is best to participate, learn, and contribute back to the initiatives of our community. Common activities include: providing outreach/advocacy/educational resources, media, events, workshops, etc.
Each section follows a general structure:
A second writing workshop was convened at CERN in September 2017 with a small group of ten highly-engaged participants who had contributed to previous drafting efforts. This workshop was very productive and led to the finalizing of the majority of the final text. Consensus on important issues such as the focus on academic institutions versus community organisations and the role of different forms of knowledge and knowledge making proved difficult but we achieved agreement.
The final draft of the Roadmap continued to be edited by the small group of authors and was then posted to the GOSH Forum for a two-week community comment period in October 2017. Several hundred comments and suggested edits were made and resolved prior to the text being finalised.
Since the November 2017, the stewarding authors have been working with graphic designer Maria del C Lamadrid to design a print and online version of the Roadmap illustrated by original artwork and photos from the GOSH Community and GOSH 2017 meeting.
The final Roadmap is now available to download on the GOSH website as a PDF:
An editable and version-controlled copy of the text and raw design files and assets are available at:
The plan is to translate, with the help of volunteers, the roadmap into the following languages: Spanish, Dutch, Mandarin, Thai, French, Indonesian, Hindi, Portuguese.
An initial print run of 250 (in English) is planned for distribution to key supporters of OScH and decision makers, including:
The publication of the Roadmap is running behind our original schedule but we expect to report on these metrics in March 2018.
The organising team learned many lessons and aim to use these to improve the offerings at future GOSH events and to determine how we allocate funding and time.
Allocating more time and resources for administering a gathering the scope and size of GOSH is important: A key lesson that we learned from GOSH 2017, with participants coming from across the world and hosting an event in a country and venue which was only familiar to one organiser, was that more resources should be dedicated to both enacting the gathering and the administrative duties following. There was a much greater burden for the volunteer organizers than there was for GOSH 2016. We offered a high level of support because we felt a duty of care to successful applicants to ensure they could participate, particularly the 55% of participants from the global South. It will be important for us to allocate more resources for administering the gathering and community during subsequent years. Major challenges included:
Both of these were valuable reminders of the need to be mindful of the contexts and circumstances that contribute to reduced opportunities for people from the global South to participate in international meetings. For 2018 we made ease of and/or local support for obtaining a visa one of our selection criteria for locations and will involve the local host at a much earlier stage in compiling information, preparing visa letters and finding embassy contacts. We will also put more funding resources behind managing logistical elements to ensure participants from the global South are not disadvantaged and are not taking on debt or unreasonable financial burdens to attend. This includes factoring in the cost of travel to collect visas and in-country costs where applicable.
Code of Conduct and Safety Officer were welcome additions to GOSH 2017: Most participants were overwhelmingly in support of the Code of Conduct and presence of the Safety Officer. We heard many positive comments from women, trans and non-gender conforming and LGBTQ+ participants that they appreciated the purposeful attempts to create an inclusive space. However, we can improve by explaining at the very start the reasons behind the Code of Conduct and matching that explanation to ways in which we have tried to improve participant experience. For example, we included pronouns on name badges but in the evaluation participants requested an explanation of why we had done that and why it was important.
In the future, we will provide links via the Code of Conduct to further information on these types of issues and be more aware of cultural norms that may be in conflict. This is particularly a consideration for GOSH 2018 in China and as well affects our future site selection. We will be extremely mindful of how we preserve inclusivity to the greatest extent possible in GOSH Regional Events, which are more likely to take place in locations with different cultural expectations and laws.
Facilitation training is very valuable for unconference formats: We provided 15 minutes of facilitation training with some basic principles for listening and facilitating discussion. As this proved to be extremely beneficial, we will expand facilitation training for GOSH 2018. During unconference sessions, many people were intentional about practicing the techniques but others needed more support. Several people commented that just this 15 minutes of training made them think more about how they communicate, including when they are talking too much and need to listen more. We hope to offer at least 30-45 minutes in GOSH 2018.
The 2017 Organisers compiled a list of changes to make when planning future events and we look forward to implementing these, particularly to enable those who have fewer opportunities, to attend and contribute to events such as GOSH.
Continuing to address diversity and equity goals during coming GOSH iterations requires constant attention and improvement: We focused hard on achieving diversity and equity goals we set during the application and selection process. However, of the fourteen successful applicants who withdrew before the event, nine out of fourteen were women, most from low GDP countries. This is something that we will be aware of and work to remedy during future gatherings, both by ensuring financial support and logistical support. Considering adding things such as child care could additionally help address this issue and other organisations such as Public Lab have successfully provided this for their meetings.
We underestimated the complexity of collaboratively authoring a document with input from over 100 people, so the major lesson learned was to put aside more time and structure toward the drafting process in such a way that it starts with the broadest possible group (e.g. the GOSH 2017 participants) and then has a smaller subset of highly-engaged authors to carry it forward once the groundwork has been laid. The document that a small group planned to present for comment at GOSH 2017 in Chile was not representative and that resulted in an entire rewrite, plus a second major structural overhaul during the later drafting process.
It is important to find a purpose that the community is behind, and that can evolve: Support from the Sloan Foundation enabled the GOSH Community to articulate its strategy for change in the form of an actionable roadmap. This roadmap emphasizes the aspects of OScH that are important to research administrators and policy makers (such as improved knowledge transfer, international exchange, accelerated innovation) and then details the actions those stakeholders and the community of OScH developers and users can take to move the field forward and overcome barriers to implementation and uptake. We believe that the final Roadmap delivers on this goal but the outcome of extensive community consultations at GOSH 2017 and during later drafting resulted in the role of the community being integrated and expanded to a greater extent than in the Roadmap as originally conceived. The GOSH Community felt this was the most useful formulation for an actionable roadmap at this point in its development. Subgroups are already forming to combine the final Roadmap material plus earlier draft work focused on institutions to be published in appropriate and hopefully impactful venues targeting research administrators and policy makers e.g. The GOSH Community whitepaper in response to a NSF Dear Colleague Letter on International Network-to-Network Collaborations and a draft perspectives piece that is currently being drafted to submit to Science.
Balancing representation of different interest groups and contexts requires negotiation and will not always be successful: OScH is found in traditional institutions but also progressive grassroots organisations; it is used as a tool to improve the reproducibility of academic science and to teach adults and children in disadvantaged communities. It was more difficult than anticipated to create a document which presented all of these perspectives and that balanced the need for change in incumbent institutions with promotion of non-traditional forms of engagement. After much redrafting and negotiation we believe we managed that goal successfully. What we did not achieve was a Roadmap that can, in its entirety, be directly taken up in different geographical and cultural contexts. Thomas Herve Mboa and Jorge Appiah plan to revisit the document and adjust it for an African context at the Open Science and Hardware Summit they are organising in Ghana in April 2018 and we plan to encourage other regional GOSH events to do the same.
Stewarding authorship and maintaining momentum is extremely important and a large investment of time: The background work required to provide opportunities for collaborative authoring and commenting and to resolve those comments and think through major changes to the text was a significant investment of volunteer time and due to conflicting commitments the authorship group changed over time as is a familiar scenario in many volunteer projects. We would like to find resources for a Community Manager to coordinate some activities like this and take advantage of the momentum that GOSH has built over the last two years.
For future collaborative documents, we will a) be far more conservative in our estimate of timing; b) reuse successful techniques from the GOSH Roadmap such as 2-3 hour online drafting sessions; c) plan more in-person writing workshops as these were crucial to discussing and reaching agreement on representation of different perspectives; d) bring the community in to discussions about aims and purpose much earlier.
Plans are underway for GOSH 2018 to take place in Sep/Oct 2018 in Shenzhen, China. This follows a lengthy process of venue selection looking at host countries proposed by GOSH 2017 participants. The priorities for the GOSH Community and particularly the GOSH 2017 and 2018 Organisers are now:
The GOSH Community has been incredibly active and shows signs of gathering pace for 2018. This is a clear indication that an international convening has been an effective catalyst for OScH. With intention, we are taking GOSH outside of North America and Europe and leaving behind a strengthened regional OScH community in Latin America.
This project, and the lessons learned, have put the GOSH organisers and the whole community in a good position to improve GOSH 2018, repeat regional community building in Asia and start supporting regional events that build on the ethos and values of GOSH. We look forward to seeing the OScH community thrive, to implementing the Roadmap, and making open hardware ubiquitous by 2025.
We are very grateful for the support of the Alfred P Sloan Foundation, whose support has made this project possible. We look forward to reporting on the impact and reach of the GOSH Roadmap in March 2018.
Interview on democratisation of synthetic biology mentioning the GOSH Roadmap.
Article features many GOSH Community members.
Two projects from members of the GOSH community were selected as part of six case studies from the European Commission-funded Digital Social Innovation Toolkit. The GOSH Manifesto was cited as a source for best practice in design of open science hardware and used as an explanatory factor for their inclusion as examples of digital social innovation.
The GOSH Manifesto was cited as a positive example of embedding values and ethics into design in a participatory science community by Eleonore Pauwels (Commons Lab, Woodrow Wilson Center) in her introductory remarks during the Ethics and Ecosystems panel. Jenny Molloy also presented a poster on GOSH alongside other initiatives on open research tools.
Several GOSH 2017 participants attended the event including Jenny Molloy, Fernan Federici, Bethan Woolfenden, Thomas Herve Mboa, Laura Olalde and mentioned GOSH in numerous presentations and workshops.
Marc Dusseiller presented GOSH at Maker Faire Xi'an. Slides are available online: https://www.slideshare.net/dusjagr/dusjagr-xian-onbiohackingandcheeseshort
Jenny Molloy presented GOSH as an example of a community approach to responsible research and innovation.
Jenny Molloy presented GOSH as part of a session on DIY Biology.
Fernando Castro, Laura Olalde, Julieta Arancio, Gustavo Pereira Irujo and Fernan Federici presented ‘Hardware Científico Abierto y Tecnologías Libres’ (Abstract).