A Radical Geography Community
La Región de Los Lagos post-crisis del virus ISA (The Lakes Region infectious salmon anemia virus post-crisis), Chile
Participant at the IGJ: Beatriz Bustos (Universidad de Chile)
“The research was funded by the Chilean Science Foundation, an organ of the state, so it is in this way “public”. One of the requirements is to make the progress public through a website–one that in reality can be read by very few people (http://loslagospostisa.wordpress.com/). I went to the community to present my research to get a sense of what the community thought was important for them, regarding the questions I was asking about post-crisis (the virus ISA) in the rural communities. One component of the research is participatory mapping, so I’m working with the community to define what sort of themes or issues they would like to have included in that mapping. That’s an important component that is participatory, or public. The idea was that these maps would be for the benefit for the community. I’m also working with undergraduate and graduate students doing their research project within my area. I organized a workshop with them and the community on socio-ecological issues and to think through what it means to do research under these post-crisis circumstances. I also included in the research project a public seminar to open the discussion up, so each year I prepare this seminar for the general public. This seminar is in the region that I’m working to share the results and communicate what we are doing.”
Figure 11 demonstrates the public engagement of the Chilean lakes region project. Like the WISH project, during the preparation and research phases engagement with public focused on academia and the community in which we work. However, unlike the WISH project, the dissemination phase was also seen to be a key stage of public engagement with the project, at the level of academic public and general public. As such, differences are highlighted between working with the community, as a specific public in the preparation and research, and then disseminating to a general public. This also highlights the difficulties in creating active public engagement with a community, particularly in the setting in which this project was taking place, for a student research project.