Citizen-driven participatory research conducted through knowledge intermediary units. A thematic synthesis of the literature on “Science Shops”

Anne Sophie Gresle*, Eduardo Urias, Rosario Scandurra, Bálint Balázs, Irene Jimeno, Leonardo de la Torre Ávila, María Jesús Pinazo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A Science Shop acts as a mission-oriented intermediary unit between the scientific sphere and civil society organizations. It seeks to facilitate citizen-driven open science projects that respond to the needs of civil society organizations and which, typically, include students in the work process. We performed a thematic analysis of a systematically selected literature on Science Shops to understand how the scientific literature reflects the historical evolution of Science Shops in different settings and what factors the literature associates with the rise and fall of the Science Shop. We used the PRISMA methodology to search for scientific papers in indexed journals in eight databases published in English, French and Spanish, and employed the thematic theory approach to extract and systematize our results. Twenty-six scientific articles met the inclusion criteria. We identified three meta-categories and ten sub-topics which can serve as key pointers to guide the set-up and future work of Science Shops. Our results identify a major paradox: Science Shops incorporate public values in their scientific agendas but have difficulties sustaining themselves institutionally as they do not fit the current dominant research paradigm. Science shops represent a persuasive complementary approach to the way science is defined, executed and produced today.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Science Communication
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • Community action
  • Participation and science governance

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