Open City Research
What if everyone was included in scientific research?
Open City Research is about giving everyone the opportunity to be part of the scientific research process.
It’s about challenging what it means to be a science centre. Discovering new things and creating new knowledge together.
Everyone should have the opportunity to be contribute to and benefit from scientific research. We recognise that diverse experiences need to be at the heart of what we do.
We work with our local community partners to help create a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired to build a better world together.
As a charity, we work with our local communities to help create a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired to build a better world together. You can find our manifesto here
(A note on names: our Open City Research pledge used to be called 'Open Source Science', but in 2023 we conducted a spot of our own research with our partners, audiences and staff, and felt that 'Open City Research' better described this area of work. The video above was filmed during the 'Open Source Science' years, but the same concept about about giving everyone the opportunity to be part of the scientific research process remains.)
What is Open City Research?
It’s about evolving the way that we’re working to make science a process of discovery, for everyone.
We’re doing this by…
- Creating interactive experiences that support a broader range of people to influence research and improve the quality of research.
- Trying to overcome challenges that separate people from scientific research, so that research can be more relevant and benefit more people
- Starting to support communities to lead their own research through our Research Collective programme
- Introducing people to the whole research process, from ideas generation, ethics and experimenting, to data collection and analysing, as well as shaping the direction of future research.
Have your say in scientific research
As a science centre, we’re in a unique position to champion community-led research, and to bridge and build networks between academic research and communities
Along with our community and researchers, we’re co-developing exciting, interactive activities that you can get involved with, to influence real research.
We run these activities online, out and about in our city and in spaces across We The Curious, including in Open City Lab - our working laboratory space.
What difference does this work actually make?
Our audiences have already started to have a long-lasting impact on scientific research through Open City Research. Check out the 'Curious Stuff' area of our webiste, which includes some of our recent projects, including:
- Can Machines Understand Emotions? How a visit to a science centre can be an opportunity to influence real ongoing research, and to explore how computers might help us to better understand human emotion.
- A raw but rich dialogue - really listening to children about toys
Want to work with us?
Open City Research is your opportunity to work together with a range of different people to generate new ideas in science.
We want you to leave thinking differently about your research after working together with new people.
We also want to support those who aren’t always recognised within science research; for example by sharing our platform with community researchers.
“I think what We The Curious are wanting to do is to make research part of the experience of being at We The Curious, and that is a completely different way of doing science”
Dr Nathalia Gjersoe, University of Bath
If you'd like to find out more, contact:
To find out more, contact our Open City Research team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 915 1000.
A huge thank you!
Thank you also to everyone that has already contributed to Open City Research projects - including our visitors, volunteers, staff and researchers.
And to all the funders and partners whose generous support makes Open City Research possible.
Open City Lab was opened in 2021 as part of Project What If, the first major science centre exhibition in the UK inspired entirely by the curiosity of a city’s residents. We couldn’t have done this without the support of our lead Open City Lab funder, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
Thank you also to everyone that has already contributed to Open Source Science projects - including our visitors, volunteers, staff and researchers.
Film credit: Woven
Image credits: Lisa Whiting