A “Science Shop” is not a shop in a traditional sense, but rather a place or persons that organizations in the community can approach with either specific research questions or just ask for help in solving social and community issues. It also does not have to pertain to hard science, as the name denotes its origins – the model has permutated into a more generalized way to democratize and streamline large, complex community-based learning and research projects so they can address issues stated by the community, which often don’t fit into neat disciplinary categories.
A Science Shop provides independent, participatory research support in response to concerns experienced by civil society. Science Shops use the term ‘science’ in its broadest sense, incorporating social and human sciences, as well as natural, physical, engineering and technical sciences. (Living Knowledge website)
There are three common Science Shop models: an institutionally-based model, an external model, and a hybrid model. CUE follows the institutionally-based model, attached to the UW-Madison‘s Morgridge Center for Public Service. CUE engages students, faculty members, researchers, and academic staff at UW-Madison to facilitate collaboration with CUE’s community partners.
More information about Science Shop can be found from the following references:
- Leydesdorff and Van Den Besselaar, What We have learned from the Amsterdam Science Shop
- Living Knowledge – The International Science Shop Network
- Science Shop on Wikipedia