Project of the Day: Hack Your PhD

Hack Your PhD is a community that aims to build much-needed collaborative relationships between those involved in knowledge production.

Célya Gruson-Daniel explains:

“Hack your Phd” launched in October 2012. Brings together a diverse community of doctoral researchers, designers and social entrepreneurs around the issues of Open Science and Open Knowledge.

The goal here is to set up workshops (or “hackatons”) to experiment with different initiatives of open Science while educating the public on this issue. The central idea is to use the collective intelligence of the community coming from different horizons using the new tools from science and open education. HackYourPhd wants to show that new ways of doing reseasrch exist, and can only benefit research itself as well as the relationship between science and society.”

‘The HackYourPhD community was born out of an acknowledgement that current ways of performing research frequently generate frustration, conflits, and isolation. The crisis in research is sometimes covered in the media: job insecurity, rush to publication creating pressure and dishonest practices, privatization of knowledge through the grip of scientific publishing houses. This is a vision from the inside – that of research practitioners. This lack of trust is amplified by the numerous scandals that have occurred in the world of research, for instance through connections with private corporations whose goal is to generate profit, creating conflicts of interest.

This picture may appear rather negative to society at large, which often does not understand how research works. Research is a « black box » for the majority of the population. There is a divide. Citizens often hold researchers in high esteem, but the crisis of trust is deepening, because of the lack of dialogue across the divide. However, there is hope: today’s knowledge society makes the emergence of citizen researchers both desirable and possible.

HackYourPhD brings together students, young researchers, engaged citizens, hacktivists, tinkerers from all horizons, entrepreneurs, and everyone who is interested in the production and the sharing of knowledge in the wider sense. This collective aims to bring concrete solutions to complex issues and to build much-needed collaborative relationships between those involved in knowledge production. This is required for collective intelligence to come into existence and bring answers to urgent issues of society.

We wish, through common activities carried out by members of the community, to create healthy dynamics among researchers and to open the « black box » so that research may serve society rather than entrenched interests.”

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