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Local case studies

To complement the stories of common citizens contributing to scientific research and the artworks presented in ‘Beyond the Lab: The DIY science revolution’, each venue hosting the exhibition presents a local example of how RRI is or can be applied in research in the field of medicine and healthcare. Sparks partners have worked within local partnerships with researchers, universities, NGOs and citizens to identify the object or the research that would be featured in the local corner of the exhibition.


Bonn Science Shop - Nutrition and Dementia

The local case study was developed in cooperation with the Competence Cluster Diet-Body-Brain (DietBB) of the University of Bonn. The network DietBB investigates the relation between dietary factors and the development of cognition across the lifespan. The LCS showcased the importance of transdisciplinary research as well as the relevance of cooperation with citizens through long-term population studies to document nutritional patterns. For the latter, a new app is being developed to enable the people to easily document their dietary behaviour.

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Photo credit: Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V.

London Science Museum - Eye Wink

EyeWink is a device created by PhD students from the University of Essex. It uses an open source brain-computer interface (OpenBCI) to control a smartphone through the electrical activity of muscles contracting when the user winks. The vision behind EyeWink is to change the way in which we communicate and interact with the technology. In the future, this technology could be applied to many different contexts, including controlling an electronic wheelchair or changing the slides in a presentation.

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Photo credit: Science Museum

Copenicus Science Centre Warsaw – Paweł Szczęsny’s research on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

SIDS or ‘crib death’, the unexplained death of infants between 2 and 12 months old, affects about one in 2,000 children. Paweł Szczęsny, PhD, from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Polish Academy of Sciences) and Warsaw University, intends to accelerate research done by scientists on understanding the causes of crib death through greater openness not only of research results, but of the research process itself, using citizen science to modernly thinking about the responsible conduct of scientific research.

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Photo credit: Agata Steifer

Hiša eksperimentov – Sweet-o-bike

 “Sweet-o-bike” is an interactive tool for diabetes education developed by Hiša eksperimentov in collaboration with Dr. Karin Kanc (Jazindiabetes d.o.o). The rider of the Sweet-o-bike sees virtual food approaching on the screen. S/he has to choose what to eat but in order to stay on the road, s/he has to dose the right amount of insulin. After the ride, s/he will get a diagram of the training: the "Sweet-o-gram" which is part of regular patients’ education at Dr. Karin Kanc's clinic.

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Photo credit: Hisa eksperimentov


Luxembourg Science Centre - The Force-measuring Helmet

After his father had a ski accident, Niccolò, a 16-year-old student from Luxembourg developed the Force-measuring Helmet which allows monitoring the strength of an impact onto the head. Not only does the device tell you whether the helmet is damaged−and thus should be changed−or not, but also helps doctors evaluate the severity of possible head injuries. To develop the helmet, Niccolò got in contact with leading scientists in brain injury research and learned all about the subject he wanted to exploit.

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Photo credit: Luxembourg Science Centre

Tycho Brahe Planetarium Copenhagen – RRI in space research and medicine

Space medicine is a field with great implications in health and body economy from an RRI point of view. Lonnie Grove Petersen (MD. Ph.D. in Anestethics and Cardiology at University of Copenhagen and University of San Diego) is the leading scientist in space medicine in Denmark with a large experience in working with test-persons both on Earth and in Space. She has been willing to discuss all aspects of her research and has been open about the research process from the initial idea to the final publication.

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Parque de las Ciencias Granada – Diálisis 24H app

Diálisis 24H is a mobile application to provide information and support to renal-impaired patients and help them adapting their diet. To develop and improve the app, nurses Ruth Molina and Mercedes Muñoz drew from conclusions and feedback from different stakeholders in the field of health, particularly paying attention to users’ needs, values and experiences.

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Photo credit: Parque de las Ciencias



Blue World Institute – Noise pollution

In the coastal region where the islands of Lošinj and Cres are located, tourism is the most significant economic activity. But it also causes noise pollution in urban areas which lowers the quality of everyday life, affects citizens’ mental health as well as the tourism offer in the area. Together with the local school, the NGO “Idem i ja”, the national Centre for Public Health and the company Vizor, Blue World Institute created a noise map of the town of Mali Lošinj. The initiative led to a collaborative project and helped raise public awareness on how noise pollution affects health on a daily basis.

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European University of Cyprus - Sports for all

The ‘Sports for all’ programme was initiated by the Government of Cyprus and involves weekly sports activities for the elderly. The programme was presented in the context of a reflection about physical exercise as a means of improving health while offering entertainment and inclusion to the elderly. The needs and considerations of the elderly people who participated in the Reverse Science Café at the EUC were taken into account while designing a training programme in close collaboration with pensioners, individuals, specialists and scientists to enable older people to be active, exercise and socialize at the same time.

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Photo credit: European University of Cyprus.


Pavilhão do Conhecimento Ciência Viva – BITalino

BITalino is a ‘do-it-yourself’ kit that consists of sensors measuring heart, muscle or nervous system signals, plus a microcontroller, a Bluetooth connection, a battery and a power management module. No advanced knowledge of electronics or computer science is required so anyone can create projects autonomously and learn how to use their body signals for different purposes. In healthcare, BITalino can be used for heart self-monitoring or as a tool for people with physical disabilities but it is also used by artists, companies, universities and people from different areas, successfully linking science, industry and society.

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Photo credit: Ciência Viva