Science and access to knowledge as commons
HackYourPhd our vision :
Science is defined as the set of scientific communities working to improve human knowledge and technology, in its international, methodological, ethical and political dimensions. Research institutions around the world are carrying out this noble mission. However, research is currently the preserve of a restricted group of experts whose modes of production are often too opaque. Thus, knowledge is siloed and not very accessible. Yet, given the complexity of the world and the issues our time, it seems essential to make knowledge an accessible common good.
The HackYourPhD community was born out of an acknowledgement that current ways of performing research frequently generate frustration, conflits, and isolation. The crisis in research is sometimes covered in the media: job insecurity, rush to publication creating pressure and dishonest practices, privatization of knowledge through the grip of scientific publishing houses. This is a vision from the inside – that of research practitioners. This lack of trust is amplified by the numerous scandals that have occurred in the world of research, for instance through connections with private corporations whose goal is to generate profit, creating conflicts of interest.
This picture may appear rather negative to society at large, which often does not understand how research works. Research is a “black box” for the majority of the population. There is a divide. Citizens often hold researchers in high esteem, but the crisis of trust is deepening, because of the lack of dialogue across the divide. However, there is hope: today’s knowledge society makes the emergence of citizen researchers both desirable and possible.
HackYourPhD brings together students, young researchers, engaged citizens, hacktivists, tinkerers from all horizons, entrepreneurs, and everyone who is interested in the production and the sharing of knowledge in the wider sense. This collective aims to bring concrete solutions to complex issues and to build much-needed collaborative relationships between those involved in knowledge production. This is required for collective intelligence to come into existence and bring answers to urgent issues of society.
We wish, through common activities carried out by members of the community, to create healthy dynamics among researchers and to open the “black box” so that research may serve society rather than entrenched interests.
HackYourPhd our actions :
Through our daily life, we are used to filtering and sharing information and knowledge. Our way of learning has evolved, taking advantage of new technology. Academic research as it is practiced today is often reluctant to put these new competencies forward. This gap is often difficult for us young or future researchers, who have a negative experience of the Ph.D. process. It is also a problem for us individuals who are not directly involved in research but wish to converse with it.
We believe that in an era of democratization of the tools of research, whether it be technical instruments for the natural sciences, or the exponential simplification of data access, research must be accessible to everyone.
We believe it is important to show that new ways of doing research exist, and can only benefit research itself as well as the relationship between science and society. We do not seek to revolutionize research, but rather question how it works and add complementary bricks so that it may adapt better to today’s world and respond in a well-adapted fashion to the scientific and human issues of tomorrow.