Illustration by Krystin Unversagt

At the THESys Summer School ‘Transformative Human-Environment Research & Participatory Methods’ in September 2019, doctoral researchers, faculty, as well as a handful of members of the public gathered in a final ‘fishbowl’ discussion to discuss the preceding week’s lectures, discussions, and practicums on the democratization of knowledge production.

This Discussion Paper ‘How activist should scientists be?’ is a reconstruction of the ensuing conversation, collaboratively assembled by the participants the following day. The editors—themselves participants of the event— added headings and made slight changes to wording for stylistic consistency. Questions such as if scientists should strive to be objective; or what counts as ‘science’, were discussed, as were further ideas on academic identity, critical geography, boundary work, and the democratization of science.

The paper can be found on HU’s edoc server. For any additional questions please contact Editor in Chief Jonas Østergaard Nielsen,