Public Lab has spoken a lot on Idea Lab about building "recursive publics," in which people are knowledgeable about and can reshape the structures that bring them together. But how do you build such a public in practice? Is Public Lab succeeding in building such a project? How should one measure that? What is participation in Public Lab? Over our spring retreat, Public Lab staff began to ask ourselves such questions to formalize our goals for the next year of organizational development. This discussion circled around three main topics: the emerging structure of our organization, the structure of our website,...more »
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In December, Public Laboratory members made themselves a "public lavatory." Six members of the online DIY science community gathered in the well-appointed, but small bathroom of staff member Liz Barry with the lights off -- for citizen science. Two staff members (Leif Percifield and Jeff Warren) stood in the bathtub lofting a laptop so the webcam pointed downward to capture the scene. Another (Chris Eichler) perched precariously on the sink with a camera, snapping photos of the path of light on the wall cast by the newest research tool -- a thermal flashlight. The thermal flashlight, still tethered to a...more »
This post was co-authored by Shannon Dosemagen. In September, members of Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS) met with residents of Garfield County, Colo., to discuss the growing hydrogen sulfide problem in their small, rural community. Public Laboratory is an organization and membership community which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. Hydrogen sulfide, a neurotoxic and potentially lethal gas, can be produced by bacteria growing in natural gas wells, or can natively occur within reserves of natural gas. Natural gas development is booming across North America, and with it, cases of hydrogen sulfide poisoning...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
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