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Does your community organisation have a puzzling question? Or are you a researcher or student who would like to join in solving a real life puzzle? Find out more about our Science Shop and how you could be involved here.

Scishops Logo with Text balloons expressing communicating partners
The Science Shop is established as part of a EU project

What is a Science Shop and how does it work?

A Science Shop works on knowledge exchange between non-profit organisations and the university by connecting questions from organisations and communities to research done by students.

It all starts with the needs and questions of societal organisations (NGO’s, charities, local councils, social entrepreneurs, community or concerned citizens groups). The Science Shop connects these organisations to students and researchers and supports all participants to take on community-based participatory research (CBPR). CBPR is a way of organising research whereby researchers work together with non-university organisations, communities and groups to co-create new knowledge or understanding about community issues.

The open source outcomes of the research help organisations to achieve their aims and attain change in the community and can feed into more structural and fundamental forms of research. In this way Science Shops try to change perspectives, make research agendas more democratic and make research more responsible and inclusive.

What can we do for you?


Are you facing a difficult challenge?

Do you want to measure your impact?

Or do you want to know what the future could have in store for your organisation?

The Science Shop is an open and friendly way into the University of Oxford. We are happy to come over to your place and listen to what you have on your mind. We will support your efforts and try to connect you to the right people. Maybe that will lead to a Science Shop project, maybe to another form of connection or new insights. We welcome everyone’s ideas.  

Researchers & Students

Would you like to be inspired by real life challenges?

Are you looking for interesting local partners to work with?

Or do you want to develop applications in a responsible and co-creative way?

The Science Shop is an open and friendly way into the Oxfordshire community. We are happy to talk to you about your interests, support your efforts and try to connect you to the right people. Maybe that will lead to a Science Shop project, maybe to another form of connection or new insights. We welcome everyone who takes community needs seriously. 


Themes we like to explore with you

Our Pop-up Science Shop is around Artificial Intelligence, because AI is developing at a fast rate and is already influencing people’s lives more than they realise. From algorithms that drive your Facebook feed, to big data analysis to support doctors’ diagnoses and facial recognition by security cameras. Applications that can improve our lives, but can also have negative side effects for our privacy or make biased decisions. So it is only fair that communities have a say in where and how this technology is used and come forward with their own questions and needs.

The Oxford Science Shop is based in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, but is looking at AI from a broader human and societal perspective. And Artificial Intelligence can also be a mean to explore other themes.

Here are some themes we would like to work on:

The robot doesn’t care? Artificial Intelligence in Health

Living rivers on our doorstep. Water quality, biodiversity and citizen science

Where does it leave me? Human rights and ethics in use of data and automated decisions 

Latest news 

Pop-up Science Shop successful. Our pilot was a success, in close collaboration with researchers, students, liaison officers and organisations we were able to explore various approaches and connections. You can read more about it in the summary of the report (click on the link to access). A new Science Shop Co-ordinator is going to be recruited soon to continue the work and establishing a structural Science Shop in Oxford.

Final EU-SciShops Conference in Italy. We will present our results and share lessons learned at the SciShop concluding conference in Brescia, 29-31 January 2020.

Christmas Competition on Oxford Sparks! Send in your question and win... 

Discussing the future at IF Oxford. Interesting discussions between Oxford citizens and researchers at the Shops

Testing the water in the university park. Master students in Water Science, Policy and Management explored and discussed citizen science

Successful field trip in the Cotswolds. DPhil students in Environmental Research met several organisations and explored their own connections outside Academia in a workshop


How can you participate?

Science Shops bring people together who share common goals, are willing to listen to each other, learn and create new knowledge and improve practice or make an impact. If that appeals to you, we would like to include you in our projects. There will be no costs for organisations, but every participant should be willing to invest a bit of time (although it is flexible how much exactly).

Just contact the Science Shop: