What we’re about
This meetup, which started back in April 2015, grew out of the community of weird scientists and hackers that got to know each other through the annual hackathon Science Hack Day Berlin (http://berlin.sciencehackday.org/). Wanting to hack science all the time rather than just once a year, we launched a couple of monthly science hacking meetups to get together, get inspired, hack things, get help, have some Spaß, and keep this awesome science ball a-rolling.
Why science hacking?
We can’t put it better than Ariel Waldmann, co-founder of Science Hack Day (http://sciencehackday.org/): “There has been a considerable movement in the last few years to make science more open between scientific disciplines and to the perceived “public”. But simply making science open – by placing datasets, research, and materials online and using open source licensing – is only half the battle. Open is not the same as accessible. Often the materials are very cryptic or are buried deep within a government website where they’re not easy to find.” – we want to help make that material and those ideas more accessible by bringing scientists out of the ivory tower and into the ‘real world’ ;). We want to help break down barriers to non-specialist involvement in science.
What is science hacking?
A hack is a quick solution to a problem – maybe not the most elegant solution, but often the cleverest. Hacking is about using imagination and creativity to reinvent and reclaim the world – for good, for serious, or just for fun. Science Hacking is where we take all this awesome hacking jazz and use it for science. Take a community of science geeks, coders, designers, makers, inventors, and enthusiasts, mix them together in a big melting pot of different perspectives and approaches, add a bunch of tools and materials, and see what comes out: awesome ideas, the next great start-up, real hard science, or the weirdest, most useless things you could never imagine.
Some of our favourite science hack examples:
_ a desk lamp that lights up every time an asteroid flies by the Earth (http://ariel.soup.io/post/90842565/Near-Earth-Object-Lamp)
_ an augmented super collider diagnostic tool that let’s you listen to the sounds of particle collisions (http://sciencehackday.org/project/particle-windchime/)
_ from SHDB2014, a project to simulate radioactive decay using popping popcorn (https://flic.kr/p/pWhtfg)
_ Also from SHDB2014, “Feel the planet” – using seismic data to control the vibrations of a dildo (and other things) (https://flic.kr/p/pWhtfg)