I founded Liberate Science in October 2019 to realise ResearchEquals. Thanks to the Shuttleworth Foundation’s support over the past three years, ResearchEquals now exists and we have been in production for 10 months — since then we’ve had zero downtime! We will continue to develop ways for you to make your research work visible and are committed to doing that for the long haul.
At the same time we recognise the need to be creative and experiment in order to sustain our collective ingenuity for change. Experimenting with ResearchEquals is limited in that sense because you have come to rely on it for your day to day work. It needs to be predictable, stable, and reliable. Experimenting means change and risk, which means less predictable and reliable.
We’re starting Liberate Science Labs to provide a space for further experimentation and pushing the envelope. Not just for ResearchEquals, but also on other domains that are in line with our manifesto and theory of change. How can we better understand how power systems prevent changes to how we do research? How might we organise more effectively?
Liberate Science Labs provides a space to explore and be nimble in how to create change. That can be new ideas, theories, projects, forms of organising, and anything else. Some of it will stick, some of it will not.
Labs initiatives are never forever and do not have to scale. They do not need to make money (they’re allowed to) and they are there to allow creativity.
Personally, the Labs framework helped me realise that some of what we do is already a part of this. We have been running preprint bots on Twitter for the past three years to increase awareness of preprints (PsyArxivBot, MetaArxiv Bot, and EdarxivBot). We consulted on a research project to realise a tool that helps reduce privacy violations in open data (the
datacheckproject), in an attempt to balance the scales between sharing and respecting people’s privacy. The Open Update podcast was a way for us to share the news and create discussions.
Liberate Science Labs will help us incubate ideas and support community led projects that align with our theory of change. We are already talking with several potential partners that want to do more and where we can help.
Liberate Science Labs will return in 2023 with more information… 😊