By: Felipe Fonseca on Ciëncia Aberta Ubatuba


      • A set of “Round of Talks” on Open Science took place in October 2015 in Brazil.
      • The meeting brought together diverse stakeholders from the field, in order to explore a variety of questions and issues around how to make science more accessible, what is already being done and who could benefit from openness.
      • Some of the most interesting themes to come out of the workshop included how to bridge gaps between academia and citizens for collaborative research; information to empower citizen monitoring for better uptake of data; and how to produce, manage and share co-created knowledge and research with citizen actors.

Open Science “Round of Talks” took place in October 2015, during the Tropixel Labs festival, and was included in the programme of the National Week of Science and Technology. The meeting was part of a set of public activities organised by Plataforma Ciência Aberta Ubatuba (Ubatuba Open Science Platform) since the beginning of 2015. Those activities have been  focused on promoting the debate about the role of open science in development in Ubatuba and region, and on creating spaces for knowledge and information exchange and collaboration among key local actors.

The goal of the Round of Talks was to promote the dialogue among local stakeholders – scientific researchers, teachers, NGO personnel, traditional communities and representatives of public policy boards working in the region – exploring the following questions:

  • How does the knowledge produced in the region circulate? How to make it understandable and appropriated by different publics?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints for the joint production and sharing of data and information? What are the obstacles to make available and disseminate knowledge – considering technical,  institutional, political and other aspects?
  • What are the currently existing spaces and dynamics to promote interaction on themes relevant to the region?
  • Are there experiments and methodologies already tested that dialogue with these issues? What are they?
  • How do we potentialize existing spaces of shared management?
  • How is the production of knowledge related to political effectivity and the ability to interfere in political decisions?
  • How do we generate a more diverse ecosystem of knowledge?

The event gathered representatives of São Paulo’s Northern Coast Marine Environmental Protected Area (APAMLN); Traditional Communities Forum (FCT), Oceanographic Institute of University of São Paulo (IO/USP); Sustainable Coast Observatory – Polis Institute (OLS); Baobáxia / Mocambos Network; local technical schools Centro Paula Souza and Tancredo Neves; Ubalab; as well as independent researchers and teachers.

Halfway into the Open Science Round of Talks, Henrique Parra (from Ciência Aberta Ubatuba Platform) summarized the main points highlighted in the debate for continuous reflection and actions to be organized:

      • Research demands on specific themes: the need to produce new knowledge and information;
      • Forms of access and appropriation of  knowledge produced: how do we communicate and increase accessibility of information to different social groups, in order to positively impact the quality of citizen participation?
      • Issues related to information/knowledge management: how to integrate, organize and share the information produced (technical and research reports, cartographic data bases), relevant to  social and environmental local issues?
      • Information for citizen monitoring and citizen or multitude science, in order to empower the distributed participation in data production and gathering of data about everyday life and work;
      • New forms of relationship between academia and society/communities: forms of co-production between traditional wisdom and scientific knowledge; open forms of diffusion and appropriation of knowledge; and above all the possibility of shared construction of research problems and project design.

The debate also raised important issues regarding the access to and the use of low-cost technologies, not written forms of communication, and the need to create new forms of institutions. The quality of social participation in local public management and policy design mechanisms was highlighted by the participants. Erika Braz (FCT) proposed the creation of a charter of ethical principles for research in the region.

At the end, participants demonstrated interest to keep on the conversations, toward developing joint initiatives that put into practice the axes identified. Ciência Aberta Ubatuba Platform is currently elaborating some proposals in that direction, which will be presented to local stakeholders in early 2016.

See also (in Portuguese):