The roster of sPark It partners keeps growing. It is a joy to see so much creativity in Liverpool, and so many of these ideas have blown us away. One particularly intriguing concept has come in from CitizenSciArt, a project that spans the worlds of science, research, art, public engagement and policy. We spoke to Jay Hampton about the project and what they are bringing to sPark It.
Across science we need more opportunities for active participation. We want to see co-curated citizen science projects and public access to basic science equipment. We want more diversity, more working class scientists, first generation academics & neourodiverse communicators.
As of 2018 only 15% of UK scientists were from working class backgrounds. CitizenSciArt wants to create a space for local people to get involved in scientific research, grow their own food and encourage nature. Citizen science involves the public in research and informs local policy.
Our project aims to increase diversity within science and give a voice to under-represented groups. We believe that the public are the future of environmental research and open access to equipment will allow local people to find solutions to local problems.
Our next project is all about weeds. We want to live in a world where nature and people can thrive together. Perfectly manicured lawns are a nightmare for wildlife – 97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have disappeared. Leaving a corner of your garden to grow naturally, or sparing a few weeds on your garden path, can help to create a bridge for nature. Weeds can be wonderful; dandelions are one of the first sources of food for bees in spring and are edible for humans.
Our installation idea for sPark It Liverpool
is to create a wildflower meadow, a vertical farm, and a mini nature laboratory. Passers-by will receive free produce we have grown and use our microscopes to take photographs with their phones.
We’ve also sent over some images from our last project. We collected samples of algae from Garston Coastal Reserve and looked at them under different microscopes.
The natural world is full of beauty, and helping people to access and understand it will be so important for our futures. We cannot appreciate something if we don’t really see it. Bringing science and a knowledge of the nature to sPark It, CitizenSciArt’s installation will be one of the highlights of the event.
If you want to see sPark It Liverpool happen, then we need your help. We are into the last month or our crowdfunder and we still have some way to go. Please help us bring all these amazing projects to the streets of Liverpool. Donate to the crowdfunder. Share with your networks, with your friends and family.