Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania – Faculty of Economics, Socio-Human Sciences and Engineering, Miercurea Ciuc –

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Beyond the lab - the do it yourself science revolution

Sparks is an awareness-raising project to show Europeans that they can get involved in science and that various stakeholders share the responsibility for scientific research and innovation. 

Led by Ecsite - the European network of science centres and museums - Sparks is carried out over a three-year period (July 2015 to June 2018) by a network of partners  including science shops and science centres/museums active across the whole European Union and Switzerland.

Sparks intends to bridge the gap between the super-fast pace of scientific innovation and society through a unique touring exhibition and over 230 participatory activities aimed at getting the general public involved, taking place across 29 European countries. 

About the exhibition

Starting from July 2016, the exhibition entitled 'Beyond the Lab: the DIY Science Revolution' runs continuously at four locations simultaneously in Europe for two months at a time.


Illustrations of locally-based research on future medicine and well-being are included in the touring exhibition to tell the local story about RRI in each country.

Beyond the Lab tells the stories of a growing number of ‘DIY scientists’ around the world who are busily hacking, experimenting and inventing in the field of healthcare.

These citizen scientists often work with professional researchers to gather and analyse scientific evidence helping to understand local environment and face public health challenges such as air pollution, antibiotic resistance or disease outbreaks.

The exhibition focuses on three areas of DIY science:

It also features three innovative works created by artists who position themselves at the border between art, science and technology.
During a residency at the Ars Electronica Futurelab in Linz, Austria, they worked with curators and scientists to develop artworks proposing future visions of science and technology for individuals and the society.

Shazia Ali–Webber: The campaigner for clean air (UK)

Shazia is an active campaigner for clean air in London and uses air monitoring devices to measure pollution in their homes and neighbourhoods so that families and children can take less polluted paths in her area.

Doreen Walther: The mosquito mapper (DE)

The Mosquito Atlas project creates a nationwide network of amateur mosquito catchers, who mail thousands of mosquitoes to Doreen every year from all across Germany, helping her to provide a vital monitoring service that helps the government predict and plan for potential disease outbreaks.

Tim Omer: The diabetes hacker (UK)

Tim has type 1 diabetics and decided to hack and build his own medical devices and apps in order to share ways to bring down the cost of diabetes care and improve on what is available from healthcare providers.

Pedro Oliveira and Helena Canhão: The online innovation hub (PT)

Pedro and Helena set up Patient Innovation, an organisation that works to share DIY medical solutions with a worldwide audience and supports patients and carers to launch businesses based on their ideas.

Sara Riggare: The expert patient (SE)

Sara uses a range of wearable technologies to record her condition, track symptoms and customise her treatments of Parkinson’s disease. Then she shares her experiences with other patients online and encourages them to take control of their own healthcare.

Pieter van Boheemen: The DIY antibiotics hunters (NL)

In his lab, Pieter crowdsources new antibiotics from soil, plant and flower extracts’s with people from around the world invited to search for a solution to antibiotic resistance.

Calendar of Events

July 2020