‘Beyond the Lab’ exhibition

Science is done by scientists. Or is it? This exhibition explores seven remarkable stories of people who are opening up scientific research to everyone, taking it out of Professional labs and into homes, workshops and back yards. From people who build their own medical devices to manage their diabetes, to community groups measuring pollution, a growing number of ‘do-it- yourself scientists’ around the world are busy hacking, experimenting and inventing. Equipped with low- cost sensors, smartphone apps and the ability to share information with communities online, these DIY science pioneers are challenging our ideas of who a scientist is and what science will look like in the future.

This exhibition has been created as part of Sparks, a European project that explores new ways to involve people in scientific research and innovation. The exhibition will tour a total of 29 different museums, science centres and research institutions across Europe from 2016 to 2018. Sparks is collaboration between 33 organisations from all EU Member States and Switzerland. The project aims to raise awareness of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through exhibitions, events and publications, with a specific focus on technology shifts in healthcare and medicine. RRI is a European initiative to involve citizens and stakeholders in the research and innovation process and aims to ensure that science and technology reflect the needs, priorities and values of wider society. The Sparks project is coordinated by Ecsite, the European network of science centres and museums. Find out more at:



Sparks is a project to familiarize and engage European citizens with the concept and practice of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) through the topic of technology shifts in health and medicine. Sparks promotes RRI by inviting key stakeholders to actively question, experiment and play with science in a way that makes it relevant to today’s society. Sparks aims to communicate on the importance of RRI in a new way, by using the creative and “disruptive” visions of artists on how our future will be affected by the use of technologies in health and medicine.

The main objectives of Sparks are to:

  • Raise awareness about the concept and practice of RRI;
  • Encourage citizens and other key stakeholders to share the responsibility for science;
  • Increase the capacity of local science actors and public authorities to stimulate RRI processes locally;
  • Feed Research and Innovation (R&I) policies at the EU, national, regional and local levels to facilitate the development of RRI processes and enrich the R&I system in the field of health and medicine with societal inputs.



The Sparks project counts on a strong partnership of 33 organisations from all the EU Member States and Switzerland: science centres, science shops, science institutes, universities, renowned international networks and organisations active in the scientific and creative fields.

Sparks main partners - the development team

  • Amsterdam Health  and Technology Institute (NL) 
  • Ars Electronica (AT)  
  • Bonn Science Shop (DE)  
  • Copernicus Science Centre (PL)  
  • Ecsite, The European network of science centres and museums (BE) - Lead Partner
  • ERRIN, European Regions Research and Innovation Network (BE)  
  • KEA European Affairs (BE)  
  • Science Museum London (UK)  


Sparks local organisers – the local implementation team

  • Ars Electronica (AT)  
  • AS Cyprus College Limited European University Cyprus (CY)  
  • Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (HR) 
  • Bonn Science Shop (DE)  
  • Cap Sciences (FR) 
  • Centre for Research and Analysis (BG) 
  • Ciênca Viva - National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture (PT)  
  • Consorcio Parque de las Ciencias (ES) 
  • Copernicus Science Centre (PL)  
  • Discovery Center Continium (NL) 
  • Ellinogermaniki Agogi (GR) 
  • ESSRG Kft., Environmental Social Science Research Group (HU)  
  • Institute of Social Innovations (LT)  
  • Heureka - The Finnish Science Centre (FI) 
  • Labworm Science Shop at Sapientia University, Faculty of Science Miercurea Ciuc (RO) 
  • Luxembourg Science Center (LU) 
  • Malta Council for Science and Technology (MT)  
  • Museo delle Scienze - MUSE (IT) 
  • Neulogy (SK)  
  • Norrköping Visualization Center C (SE) 
  • Science Centre AHHAA Foundation (EE)  
  • Science Gallery (IE)  
  • Science Gallery Gama - Uskupení TESLA (CZ)
  • Science Museum London (UK)  
  • Technopolis (BE)  
  • Tycho Brahe Planetarium (DK) 
  • Università della Svizzera italiana - L’ideatorio (CH)  
  • Ustanova Hiša eksperimentov (SI) 
  • Vidzeme Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (LV)


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