Recent world events and concern over ‘fake news’ and ‘post-factualism’ have highlighted the difficulties encountered when trying to find trustworthy sources of information. The ability to judge the reliability of different sources of information is a skill that can be learned. The AccessLab project aims to improve access to and the judgement of information, through direct citizen-scientist pairings.
The AccessLab project launches with a workshop pairing artists (practitioners and researchers, particularly those who have community engagement as a core part of their practice and/or who work with data) with early career science researchers.
The participating artists will be able to request help with a topic that relates to science and is of interest personally or for their work – for example regarding a medical issue, renewable energy, farming or fishing, robotics or artificial intelligence. Through one-to-one working with the science researchers, we will provide an opportunity for the arts participants to learn how to find sources of scientific information, and how to judge the reliability of these sources. Instead of focusing on the dissemination of subject-specific information, we will support participating artists in understanding how they can find reliable information on topics that are relevant to them.
AccessLab takes two parts:
25 May 2017 // 17:00-19:00 // Development Workshop for scientists - here we'll develop the project together, designing the content of the main workshop and creating an event that can be easily rolled out to other places.
27 May 2017 // 10:00-16:00 // Main Workshop for artists and scientists - here we'll give an introduction to scientific research, how science is funded, where scientific findings are published, including the open access movement. We'll explore a joint case study taking a media article, showing where to find the original source used in that article, how to identify who did the research, who funded the work, and basic indicators of reliability such as sample sizes and experimental design. In the afternoon, artists and scientists will be in one-to-one pairs to co-research the artists’ topics of interest, with an emphasis on using peer-reviewed primary sources.
If you are interested in participating as an artist or scientist please email us.
The events are free, the studio is fully accessible for wheelchairs, and we will provide snacks for the first workshop and a full lunch for the second workshop.
This project is funded by FEAST Cornwall. The FEAST programme is funded by Arts Council England in partnership with Cornwall Council. In addition the project is supported by the British Science Association.