Discussion on Topic session LEARN

On the first day of GOSH 2018 we will dedicate 1h of moderated discussion to the topic LEARN.

LEARN means two things:
1.) how we can use / develop / implement OScH (Open Science Hardware) in an educational setting, thus preparing the next generation with the skills and mindset of open source culture. Many initiatives self-identify as STEAM, but also show a huge diversity depending on the cultural context, access to resources and openness.

2.) looking at our roadmap, LEARN also means, how can we study ourselves?
" Openness is an invitation to learn—whether learning about the inner workings of scientific instruments or learning how to develop stronger OScH projects both inside and outside established research centers. Only by learning about the technical, legal, and socio-economic challenges facing OScH can practitioners further support and grow the community, creating the conditions for positive social and technical change."

Let’s start to put down more notes for all of us to contribute. @amchagas, @Willhooi, @Lit, @Tasneem already have started a discussion by email. Summary will follow. adding @Khadidiatou


Hi all!
Thanks @dusjagr for starting the thread. Here is what I wrote previously via email. Namely some considerations/questions of what are good metrics when you are interacting with people and trying to guide them to learn something new:

One of the things I’m always internally (and externally) debating is how effective are the workshops we do. How do you measure learning (and in a way how useful are the workshops)?
a) is it how well the participant can repeat all what was covered? (least favorite metric)
b) Is it how many times participants use exactly what they learn in different situations?
c) Is it how many different original projects they create after the workshop?
d) Is it how many other people they engage and exchange with in their environments (acting more as teachers in the “traditional” sense of the word?)
e) Is it how they engage with the new topic and its people in an open way?

Not only that, but I also realised that some of the people we engaged with in the workshops and were exposed to Open Science, FOSH and FOSS for the first time during the workshops are now participating in GOSH, which for me is not only a good metric for reinforcing that we might be on a good track, but also an opportunity to let them speak about learning, and what/how it was for them during the workshops. Maybe guiding the discussion to have more people that learned during events to contribute might be a good idea? Happy to hear suggestions and criticism here.


Thanks Andre and Marc for starting this thread.
I think is interesting to consider and reflect also on what do we learn when giving a workshop about the context and about our approach in relation (to that context) and the issues that facilitate effective learning (and follow-up) as @amchagas has exposed with his questions.
I believe that workshops function as a fundamental listening device of our community. While our values are embedded in the hardware and this works as a kind of “good trojan” that transports them, its proliferation requires being able to involve and involve ourselves with different communities. We need to know about the needs, limitations and desires of those who approach us to better facilitate their transit / transition towards open and collaborative ways of doing science and building knowledge, and in turn, to transform our practices and provide hospitality and response to these heterogeneous communities that approach to, or emerge from, the workshops.
In this sense, what are the orientation / navigation tools that our community has for newcomers? How can we be hospitable to and support incipient local communities?
At this point I find interesting to evaluate the second focus of LEARN.
It is evident that to think new futures for science it is necessary to open and transform not only tools and methodologies but also institutions. Can you think of a kind of academic outreach in reverse? Can OScH devices and communities serve as institutional hacking tools? Is it possible to raise this from within a formal institution?
From my perspective it is necessary to facilitate and give support to spaces / laboratories / independent projects that take care of the values and forms of our community and then influence / intervene in formal institutions (universities, science financing entities).
In my opinion OScH can have a great impact in the Latam context but I think it is strongly conditioned by the ability to coordinate and integrate the efforts that are made at a regional and global level.
From my side, I imagine the possibility of establishing residences that allow the community to coordinate and advance OscH to solve specific local issues and be the seed/pillar to create or sustain an infrastructure (GOSH laboratories ??) that represents and supports those who choose to pursue their questions with the tools developed by this global community.
Looking forward to meet all you in person and follow this discussion


Good discussion initiated by you guys. Well-done all. All written nicely and good points and road map for LEARN. What I will however want to add and that I see as very important, is the aspect of SUSTAINABILITY in all workshops we carried out and about to. The question is HOW BEST Do We Ensure Sustainablily?. As this is the core of real impacts made. I think it is a good thing if we can integrate this into our LEARN road map and we device an effective means to measure sustainability and impacts of whatever we teach before and after any workshops. There should also be always a measure of follow up to actualize this, I think.


Fernando makes a very good point when saying that we need to think about how we influence universities. From my experience in the UK and the US, we have a harder job than just convincing scientists by doing good work and making ideological arguments for openness. The management who control hiring and more importantly write intellectual property guidelines for their staff are the biggest stumbling block. Many of these people come from business and/or are following guidelines from the government. It is important to think what arguments might begin to convince these people. Are there arguments we can use to persuade? I enjoy ranting that there is a huge leap from property to intellectual property, but then a very small step to thought crime, this might make me feel good but won’t convince a university “IP tsar” or whatever they are called this month.


Dear LEARN crew,
many of us have already arrived, explored the city, slept over the jet-lag and setting up base in openFIESTA.

LEARN: 13:00 - 14:00 Wrdnesday 10th October
Just to clarify, it’s tomorrow, Wednesday 10. Oct, is the date of our topic session LEARN. it’s the first thing to do after lunch.

For those of us who are already around let’s have a brief chat tonite during dinner neat the Hotel Vienna.
All others, please read again through this thread and join as an active “panelists / discussant” tomorrow. Just try to spot @amchagas tonite and let’s talk.

@litliao will join us tomorrow as a local guest to GOSH.

sadly @Willhooi, @kafilatadedeji, @Khadidiatou and @tasneem are not attending GOSH at all, due to visa troubles and other obligations. but i hope we can keep them active and contribute to this virtual space with our discussion.

which means our group has shrunken almost a bit too much. maybe we can find someone tonite to jump in!

cu later.

Its a pity I won’t be joining you guys for the real life discussion due to visa issues. But I will definitely be glad to be carried along using this channel. Well done all.

Here is the summary of the Topic Session LEARN

Hi all,
Too bad I didn’t see this before. Great points, thanks @nanocastro @kafilatadedeji @amchagas and the rest. Some weeks ago @gpereyrairujo and I went to a meeting with the chief librarian of the CEPAL library (CEPAL is the UN’s economic commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), Wouter Schallier. We asked him for a meeting to tell him more about GOSH and the roadmap, after I saw the library had tweeted about a open science roadmap done by the EU commission or something like that.

Anyways, Wouter is involved in LEARN (not our Learn), a project by the League of European Research Universities (LERU) to create resources to help Research Performing Institutions manage their research data. They are involved now in another project (not funded and approved yet) with which they want to develop an “openness assessment tool” for institutions (not individual projects). He said they might want to incorporate open science hardware principles as part of such assessment tool. Basically to help institutions move towards adopting OScH practices. But our meeting was the first time he heard of OScH so he asked us if we could come up with a one pager (or 2 or 3 paragraphs) of what would it mean for a university or other research institutions to buy into or at least start moving into the direction of OScH. He would try to convince his project’s counterparts to include our proposal in the assessment tool. We said we would discuss this with the GOSH community and would get back to him with the one pager or at least some feedback by the end of December.

And we thought GOSH 2018 is a good chance for us to discuss this. Neither me or Gustavo are in China for GOSH, but you are!

What do you all think?