Our values

What is OSS? (short definition)

Open Science School (referred as “OSS”) is a community, which is physically based in the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity of Paris and expands its actions in a worldwide level. Open Science School was founded at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity of Paris in 2014 with the initial purpose of using the potential of synthetic biology as a pedagogic tool for high school students.

 

OSS aims at testing and developing new models for research, long-life learning, and innovation. From an organizational point of view, OSS is a democratic, and inclusive organization based on the Rochdale principles for co-operative societies (see more at the end of the page). The view of OSS about research and science are based on the Global Open Science Hardware manifesto (see more at the end of the page), open hardware, and open science principles.

 

OSS advocates for a change of policy in existing educational and research institutions, to shift towards a more open model to create and share innovation. OSS develops long-life learning curricula and spaces that encourage people from different backgrounds to collaborate and co-create, taking advantage of their diversity. We acknowledge that the problems science aims at resolving are beyond the reach of scientists alone, and realize that science is embedded in a culture that we need to consider when defining scientific facts and creating new knowledge or innovations. To summarize: “Open Science School aims at changing the way we learn using non-conventional approaches”.

 

Co-lab workshops Open Science School
Co-lab workshops Open Science School
Co-lab workshops Open Science School

 

“Open Science School aims at changing the way we learn using non-conventional approaches”

Values for OSS Open Science School 2

Our Principles and Values

 

We believe science education and research should be shared freely between educators, learners, and communicators. We work together with schools, teachers, designers, and all sort of geeks to create open-source and creative common ressources, workshops, classes, or hardware.

We highlight that OSS is loyal to the Rochdale Principles for Co-operative Societies (see; Annex 2) as well as the Global Open Science Hardware Manifesto (see; Annex 3). These manifestos serve as indicators of how people within the OSS community interact, communicate with each other and respect each other. In addition to this, part of the OSS’ DNA consists of the following convictions:

 

  • Design as a tool for interdisciplinarity

According to Buckminster Fuller, Design Science is “the effective application of the principles of science to the conscious design of our total environment in order to help make the Earth's finite resources meet the needs of all of humanity without disrupting the ecological processes of the planet”

Design, for OSS, is as an interdisciplinary field of study: it mixes the ideas and concepts of both art and science. Design nowadays has diverged and expanded, having developed tools linked to ethnography, arts or technology that allow us to connect to people. Hence, design seems to have bridged some of the gaps between science and art. Design and tools developed by designers can be the catalyzer for interdisciplinary collaborations.

 

  • Research-based pedagogy

Intrinsic motivation constitutes one of the key-elements of essential teaching and learning. Intrinsic motivation refers to the behavior that arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. The importance of this phenomenon constitutes one of the most essential factors in the process of learning. It has been proved that when teaching relies on student’s intrinsic motivation -by answering questions in which they are already interested- learning is more effective, essential and long-term lasting.

In that sense, OSS follows this Research-based Pedagogy principle by focusing on linking the applications of scientific research to student’s everyday life, emphasising on the student’s deep and essential understanding of the scientific principles transmitted and finally providing them with the tools to apply  these principles in a low-scale in their daily lives.

 

  • Environmentalism and Sustainable Development

Promotion of green politics, eco-centrism and a nature-centered, complementary to a human-centered, system of values. Green politics (also known as ecopolitics) is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism.

OSS will promote climate change awareness, will aim at reducing the carbon footprint of the organization, and will take the environment preservation and sustainability as an important element while creating a project. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of seventeen aspirational "Global Goals" made by the United Nations. OSS adheres to each of the goals and will make action towards the accomplishment of the SDGs.

 

  • Free culture

The free culture movement is a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify creative works in the form of free content or open content by using the Internet and other forms of media.The movement objects to over-restrictive copyright laws. Today, the term stands for many other movements, including open access (OA), the remix culture, the hacker culture, the access to knowledge movement, the Open Source Learning, the copyleft movement and the public domain movement.

OSS members will produce content under Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), which is a free culture license compatible with open-source.

 

  • Citizen science

The European Commission defines citizen science as “the general public engagement in scientific research activities when citizens actively contribute to science either with their intellectual effort or surrounding knowledge or with their tools and resources”. Participants provide experimental data and facilities for researchers, raise new questions and co-create a new scientific culture. While adding value, volunteers acquire new learning and skills, and deeper understanding of the scientific work in an appealing way. As a result of this open, networked and trans-disciplinary scenario, science-society-policy interactions are improved leading to a more democratic research, based on evidence-informed decision making.

OSS will promote and coordinate citizen science projects following the GOSH manifesto and the guidelines of the European Commision on citizen science and Responsible Research and Innovation.

 

  • Internationalism and diversity

Internationalism is a principle which advocates for cooperation among nations and people. Supporters of this principle are referred to as internationalists, and generally believe that the people of the world should unite across national, political, cultural, racial, or class boundaries to advance their common interests, or that the governments of the world should cooperate because their mutual long-term interests are of greater importance than their short-term disputes.

OSS will promote international cooperation between people and institutions from different countries and cultural backgrounds and will take special care of promoting these values also within the Operating team, the advisory board, or the members of the association.

 

 

Main axes of action  (how we act to support and promote these values and principles)

 

Our actions are not independent but rather complementary and interdependent with each other, but this summary helps with the communication and the definition of our goals. The action of OSS could at this point be summarized under 3 main axes of action, which are:

 

  1. Reinforcing and promoting interdisciplinarity research by supporting already existing initiatives and research projects as well as creating new initiatives and spaces.
  1. Changing educational institutions (high school and university) towards a more open model and involve them in the production of new knowledge by forming partnerships with official institutions on an official level, through consultancy, and through workshops offered to the institutions, and co-designing activities.
  1. Promoting the value and implementation of DIY, low-tech, and open science mainly through the design and distribution of Science Kits. Demystifying scientific knowledge into the common domain of understanding. Replicating, sharing and improving open source materials developed by other people.
Open Science School High School workshops
karaoke co-lab workshops
Co-lab workshops Open Science School

Design nowadays has diverged and expanded, having developed tools linked to ethnography, arts or technology that allow us to connect to people. Design and tools developed by designers can be the catalyzer for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Open Science School strategy

 

Reuse before remaking

In order to contribute the most to the community and build on already existing open projects, OSS will prioritize citing and reusing existing works than creating one from scratch. Open source projects are not always well documented, so we will have to pay a special attention in identifying and finding them.

 

Keep the openness

OSS engages with free culture and open source and will keep this as the default licence of the work created by its members in the context of the association. This will open the content that we produce, and make more valuable the services and experience that we make as a collective, as well as the potential new things that we can make in the future. This will continue shifting the focus of our work towards innovation.

 

Documentation at the core

One of the key factors for scientific research and impactful projects is documentation. OSS will engage in documenting and make understandable and reusable the main methodologies, contents, materials or works that are created or being used.

 

High quality work

OSS will work with the advisory board  to make high quality work and will prefer quality over quantity. This rigorous work and documentation will ensure the scientific validity of the results and also enable the organization to keep a serious and professional image towards the different partners.

 

Partnership with key institutions

A change in research and innovation cannot happen without the involvement of current universities and organizations. OSS will seek strategic partnerships with prestigious organizations that want to test and prototype new ideas. OSS can provide consultancy services, co-organize courses or workshops, give free materials, or receive grants to accomplish a certain mission or project.

 

Explore a sustainable economic model

A sustainable model for OSS and its ability to continue over time and pay full-time staff members is very important for its expansion and development. OSS will seek financial independence and sustainability in a near future.

 

Values for OSS Open Science School
Co-lab workshops Open Science School
Co-lab workshops Open Science School
Co-lab workshops Open Science School

The Rochdale principles for cooperative societies

The Rochdale Principles, according to the 1995 ICA revision, can be summarised as follows.

 

FIRST: Voluntary and open membership

 

The first of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have an open and voluntary membership. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, "Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination."

Anti-discrimination

To discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category. Examples of social discrimination include racial, religious, sexual, sexual orientation, disability, and ethnic discrimination. To fulfil the first Rochdale Principle, a Co-operative society should not prevent anyone willing to participate from doing so on any of these grounds. However, this does not prohibit the co-operative from setting reasonable and relevant ground rules for membership, such as residing in a specific geographic area or paying a membership fee to join, so long as all persons meeting such criteria are able to participate if they so choose.

 

Motivations and rewards

Given the voluntary nature of co-operatives, members need reasons to participate. Each person's motivations will be unique and will vary from one co-operative to another, but they will often be a combination of the following:

  1. Financial – Some co-operatives are able to provide members with financial benefits.
  2. Quality of life – Serving the community through a co-operative because doing service makes one's own life better is perhaps the most significant motivation for volunteering. Included here would be the benefits people get from being with other people, staying active, and above all having a sense of the value of ourselves in society that may not be as clear in other areas of life.
  3. Giving back – Many people have in some way benefited from the work of a co-operative and volunteer to give back.
  4. Altruism – Some volunteer for the benefit of others.
  5. A sense of duty – Some see participation in community as a responsibility that comes with citizenship. In this case, they may not describe themselves as volunteers.
  6. Career experience – Volunteering offers experiences that can add to career prospects.

SECOND: Democratic member control

 

The second of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have democratic member control. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.”

THIRD: Member economic participation

 

Member economic participation is one of the defining features of co-operative societies, and constitutes the third Rochdale Principle in the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity. According to the ICA, co-operatives are enterprises in which “Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.” This principle, in turn, can be broken down into a number of constituent parts.

 

Democratic control

The first part of this principle states that “Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative.” This enshrines democratic control over the co-operative, and how its capital is used.

 

Limitations on member compensation and appropriate use of surpluses

The second part of the principle deals with how members are compensated for funds invested in a Co-operative, and how surpluses should be used. Unlike for-profit corporations, co-operatives are a form of social enterprise. Given this, there are at least three purposes for which surplus funds can be used, or distributed, by a Co-operative.

  1. “Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.”
  2. “Developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible;” in other words, the surplus can be reinvested in the co-operative.
  3. "Benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative;” for example, a Consumers' Co-operative may decide to pay dividends based on purchases (or a 'divvi').
    “Supporting other activities approved by the membership.”

FOURTH: Autonomy and independence

The fourth of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must be autonomous and independent. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.”

 

FIFTH: Education, training, and information

The fifth of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must provide education and training to their members and the public. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.”

 

SIXTH: Cooperation among cooperatives

The sixth of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operatives cooperate with each other. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.”

 

SEVENTH: Concern for community

The seventh of the Rochdale Principles states that co-operative societies must have concern for their communities. According to the ICA's Statement on the Co-operative Identity, “Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.”

 

The Global Open Science Hardware manifesto

Global Open Science Hardware extends the philosophy of open source coding to making real objects. It is rapidly gaining importance as hardware manufacturing becomes more digital and DIY, with advances, such as 3D printing and modular electronic controllers. This brings exciting new opportunities for collaboration, both between academics and with interested citizen scientists.

See this link for the original source. The Global Open Science Hardware (GOSH) movement seeks to reduce barriers between diverse creators and users of scientific tools to support the pursuit and growth of knowledge. These are our principles:

 

GOSH is accessible

Anyone can create, obtain, study, modify, distribute, use, and share designs of open science hardware projects.

Tools are open, free (libre), and licensed as such.

Our documents are understandable and communicative.

We share rather than act territorially.

For socioeconomic accessibility, materials are lowest cost and easy to obtain whenever possible.

Open Science Hardware is maintainable and repairable.

We follow the beliefs already established by open source software, free software, open science, and open hardware movements.

 

GOSH makes science better

Scientific experiments using open hardware are more reproducible, more comparable, and more likely to be replicated.

Comparing data across sectors, standards, and countries is more likely when using open hardware.

Reproducibility is a hallmark of good science, and open science hardware allows for greater reproducibility.

Open science hardware makes more science.

1,000 heads are better than 1.

 

GOSH is ethical

People have a right to knowledge, and thus a right to the tools to gain that knowledge.

Users align their technologies with their values by becoming creators.

The benefits of science should be shared with everyone, and cause no harm.

Open science hardware is open to everybody, without considerations of scholarly background, country, race, sex, or religion and does not tolerate discrimination on these grounds.

GOSH is used for peaceful purposes.

 

GOSH changes the culture of science

We advocate for open science, which requires open science hardware.

We move science toward communal, accessible, and collaborative practices, and away from territorial, proprietary, institutional, and individualistic practices.

We create more options for people to pursue research, both inside existing institutions (academia, NGOs, government, non-profit, start-up, business) and outside institutions altogether.

We make spaces for science beyond established institutions (e.g. academia and NGOs) so there are more options for research trajectories.

We broaden the methods of pursuing way we do science, so the ways of knowing from a wide range of people are part of knowledge creation, now and in the future.

 

GOSH democratizes science

More people and more types of people can take part in and benefit from science.

We break silos, both between disciplines and between types of institutions, bridging different domains of knowledge—you don’t have to be a “biologist” to do biology, or have a degree to do research.

Open science hardware decreases the divide between the global north and south, professionals and amateurs, particularly in low incomes countries.

Open science hardware puts local knowledge in action and contributes to cognitive justice.

Open science hardware allows a diversity of values and voices to ask research questions and to make technology.

 

GOSH has no high priests

We have community champions, not a central authority.

We are an active community invested in shared accomplishments.

We build on each other’s work rather than work in isolation.

The more, the merrier.

 

GOSH empowers people

To pursue research based on their interests.

To pursue research based on the needs of their communities.

To conduct research through many forms of support (including financial, personnel, time, material supports)

To achieve their ideas at low cost.

To understand how their tools work through borrowing, building, and sharing technology.

To have technological transparency and public oversight.

To build a movement.

 

GOSH has no black boxes

(”Black boxes” refer to any complex piece of equipment with contents that are mysterious to the user.

Technologies are open source.)

Through borrowing, building, and sharing technology, we understand how our tools work.

Building GOSH is a form of learning by doing.

Open Science Hardware increases technological transparency and public oversight.

 

GOSH is impactful tools

Technologies are adaptable and therefore can directly address local social and technical needs.

There is a direct link between what a community of users needs and science hardware because the community of users can access, change, adapt, and use the tools.

Open science hardware allows users to post knowledge and results early and often, allowing tools to be agile and responsive.

Open science hardware is designed to scale.

 

GOSH allows multiple futures for science

Research can happen in or out of the academy, in or out of the lab, in or out of commercial spaces.

GOSH changes the norms within established, institutional science where researchers openly share knowledge and technology.

With GOSH Indigenous/Non-scientist peoples can make research in their native language and adapted to their local context.

GOSH allows science to happen in places it would not usually happen.

GOSH aims to make cultural change so these opportunities are intergenerational.