radlabs propose to provide community-based services. They
are inspired by European community 'science shops'; newly developing
tele-community centers and networks; university extension services
and the evolution of local public service organizations. They
are motivated by the real and growing local needs of diverse
peoples. radlabs may occupy Main Street storefront facilities,
suburban mall spaces or rural farm buildings. They would employ
and provide on the job training for recent college graduates,
professionals on leave, retired senior citizens or grassroots
champions with specific skills and dedication. Such staff, contractors
and volunteers, self-selected to match community needs, may include
biologists, mechanical engineers, hydrologists, environmental
designers, economists, writers and artists, or computer professionals.
In this age of increasingly expensive 'big science', radlabs
are ventures in 'small science', serving an increasingly complex
world at the ground level, with a human face and rolled up sleeves.
They make science, technology, creative thinking and learning
a community activity. radlabs may become community centers, providing
public access connection to the Internet; consulting services;
technical support; fabrication and production; business development;
conferencing and publishing; education or training facilities.
They would be economic incubators working to build a sustainable
society from the bottom up.
radlabs could be initiated as a subscriber based, nationwide
pilot project, realized with committed support from national
and state government agencies, corporate partners, universities
and local communities.
An international movement and funding mechanism could be developed
by participating communities of interest, nations and international
organizations. The Internet would be the 'tie that binds', growing
a global network of radlabs, sharing accumulating knowledge and
radlabs are provocatively named, focusing attention upon a
most critical social challenge: the building of 'communities
of learning' in an 'information society'.
RADLABS ARE RADICAL.