Public Policy Workshop (2020)

Virtual Workshop: Open Hardware for Science – Key Messages for the Public Policy Community

Held October 28, 2020

Proprietary tools limit scientific progress. Open hardware can accelerate science and broaden access, and recent moves in open science to respond to COVID 19 have demonstrated its value for addressing a range of global challenges. While some government institutions and public policy communities have adopted and advanced various aspects of open science and open innovation, open hardware has so far received less attention. 

This workshop brought together 22 experts from open hardware and open science communities, including representatives from networks such as the Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) and the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), with the common goal of documenting open hardware products and practices. With an eye towards the United States public policy landscape, discussions focused on defining the value of open hardware including for public policy audiences, exploring and refining key messages, and outlining accelerators and barriers with potential solutions. The workshop paid particular attention to aspects required for long-term sustainability of open hardware approaches, including the “institutional and funding support structures” (GOSH 2017) that can make or break the success of individual and community efforts. 

Convened by:

  • Alison Parker and Anne Bowser,  the Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program 
  • Shannon Dosemagen, Open Environmental Data Project 
  • Jenny Molloy,  University of Cambridge


  • Aaron Williamson, Aaron K. Williamson Law & Consulting
  • Alex Long,  Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program 
  • Alexandra Novak,  Wilson Center Science and Technology Innovation Program 
  • Alicia Gibb, OSHWA
  • Andy Hill, Open Acoustic Devices
  • Angela Eaton, Safecast
  • Clarissa Redwine, NYU Engleberg Center
  • Greg Austic, OurSci
  • Josh Greenberg, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 
  • Joshua Pearce, Michigan Tech
  • Julieta Arancio, Univesidad Nacional de Quilmes
  • Kumar Garg, Schmidt Futures
  • Luis Felipe Murillo, University of Virginia
  • Martin Hauer, Open Source Ecology
  • Michael Weinberg, NYU Engleberg Center
  • Nadya Peek, University of Washington
  • Tarunima Prabhakar, Tattle
  • Waldo Jaquith, Georgetown University Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation