Science Shops and the U.S. Research University: A Path for Community-Engaged Scholarship and Disruption of the Power Dynamics of Knowledge Production

  • Karen Andrade
  • Lara Cushing
  • Ashton Wesner


The purpose of this chapter is to examine how science shops, institutional intermediaries that coordinate and execute community-engaged research, can foster a culture of critical civic engagement and disrupt the power dynamics of “expertise” inherent in traditional models of university-based scientific research. The authors argue that a science shop model that fully incorporates principled engagement with communities in equitable research partnerships could make important strides towards disrupting traditional hierarchical modes of knowledge production and reshaping academic scientific culture. The establishment of an environmentally focused science shop at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 is described as a case study. The authors describe a project conducted by this science shop and highlight how it helped a small community organization working towards habitat conservation and enabled an undergraduate student to understand how to connect research with social change.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Andrade
    • 1
  • Lara Cushing
    • 2
  • Ashton Wesner
    • 3
  1. 1.University of California DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health EducationSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.University of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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