Open Source Science

What if everyone was included in scientific research?

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  

What is Open Source Science?

Open Source Science is challenging what it means to be a science centre, in the way that we're working with researchers to amplify underrepresented voices in research.

We’re about involving our audiences in all stages of the research process, including the ideas generation, ethical implications, asking relevant questions to a range of people, testing things out. It’s not just data collection or dissemination, where all of the exciting work has already happened.   

It's about overcoming the challenges that separate audiences from research. We’re creating a space where audiences and researchers can work alongside each other, to explore questions about the world around us, together.

We’re committed to improving the quality of scientific research through introducing more diverse voices to the process; we’d like to see the benefits of research being relevant to a broader society.

We work with innovative researchers who share their research process, and value our audiences’ voices in shaping the direction of their research. We’re looking to support communities within Bristol who want to explore new areas of knowledge, and celebrate these with audiences. 


Have your say in scientific research

With your help we want to challenge and shape scientific research.

When you come through our doors, there will be opportunities to get involved with, and influence, real research in the venue.

Often this takes place in Open City Lab - our working laboratory space on the ground floor. We usually have some activities on offer that are self-led, along with daily opportunities to contribute to projects with our Live Science Team and researchers.

We’re working with our researchers to co-develop activities to allow audiences to be part of the research – with exciting, interactive activities and programmes to get involved in.

Previous activities have included listening to glaciers, robot design and ethical decision making.

And soon you'll also be able to get involved online, without visiting.


Get involved as a partner or researcher

Open Source Science is your opportunity to access new ideas from a range of different people, going beyond your normal networks.

We want you to leave thinking differently about your research because of the interactions you've had with our visitors.

We also want to give a voice to groups, like community researchers, who aren't always heard within science research.


If you'd like to find out more, contact:

Helen Della Nave, Open Source Science Manager
Maca Gomez-Gutierrez, Programme Developer - Open Source Science

Drop them a line on


A huge thank you!

Thank you to all the funders and partners whose generous support makes Open Source Science 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