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Community Biology Lab in Practice: a Pasteur’s Quadrant Perspective

EasyChair Preprint no. 7679

10 pagesDate: March 29, 2022


Pasteur’s Quadrant categorizes research into three quadrants based on two dimensions: pursuit of basic understanding and consideration of utility. The ultimate goal is to create synergy between science and technology for economic advancement. Academic researchers working on basic research fall into the Bohr quadrant; engineers fall into the Edison quadrant of applied research. The Pasteur quadrant, use-inspired basic research, is largely occupied by government agencies, meaning that large organizations and bureaucratic structures define our practical research priorities. Critically missing from research infrastructure is community and societal input into setting priorities. Community biology labs enable community members to perform research. Because they are unique as volunteer-run, community-based organizations, community labs may be valuable additions to the quadrant paradigm. We use autoethnographic study based on our own long-term participation, interviews with participants, and literature and website reviews to understand the nature of community lab projects and participants’ motivations. We show that the Open Insulin, Real Vegan Cheese, and DIY Bioprinter projects each fall into Pasteur’s quadrant. Community labs enhance work in this quadrant since they are enterprise organizations that integrate diverse expertise, pivot between basic and applied work quickly, collaborate easily, focus use consideration on local priorities, and prioritize accessibility and affordability.

Keyphrases: applied research, basic research, citizen science, Community biology lab, Pasteur’s quadrant, social innovation

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Ibrahim Aldulijan and Nisa Asgarali-Hoffman and Foad Hamidi and Lydia Stamato and Justice Walker and Mo Mansouri and Lisa Scheifele},
  title = {Community Biology Lab in Practice: a Pasteur’s Quadrant Perspective},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 7679},

  year = {EasyChair, 2022}}
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