DIPRO support group
The strength of transdisciplinary research lies in the opening of the scientific view for other forms of knowledge and perspectives on a problem field. In this way, a much more robust knowledge of problems, goals, and actions can be generated. In order to ensure that no perspectives and forms of knowledge are lost from consideration due to an overly disciplinary scientific view, the DIPRO Support Group (DBG) is needed. This group consists of citizens who are interested in the questions and problems of dealing with radioactive waste and who want to contribute to the research process on the DIPRO topics. They thus support the process of co-production of knowledge in TAP DIPRO.
Meanwhile, the DBG comprises six members consisting of two female and four male members. They come from different parts of Germany, are between 26 and 65 years old and offer a wide range of different professional backgrounds and professions to look at the issues of final disposal. The first joint meeting took place in October 2020.
These citizens* are now collaborating with scientists* from DIPRO on research over 4 years. The support group helps the scientific community to broaden its view and not to overlook essential aspects, both with regard to the site search procedure and the DIPRO workshops. It is not only a corrective for a possibly too one-sided perception through scientific glasses, but it also gives the DIPRO scientists important impulses: Do we, for example, have to look differently at discourses and developments in connection with the site search or set our research focus anew?
To this end, in DIPRO with DBG, we will go through three basic stages of joint collaboration again and again: we will formulate joint research questions, produce knowledge, and DBG will evaluate research results generated in DIPRO.
In the first phase of the joint collaboration, we first developed a mutual understanding of motivations, interests, and perspectives between DBG members and DIPRO colleagues. In an internal workshop on 08 May 2021, we developed a common understanding of the problem and formulated initial research questions. From this workshop, the joint research work will now begin.
In addition, the DBG will help to evaluate the design and content of the planned DIPRO workshops over the duration of the project and reflect on them together with the DIPRO team. Thus, it will also be involved in the design of the DIPRO workshops in Kiel and Berlin in November 2021 and participate in them to accompany the discussion process.
Within the framework of TAP TRUST, citizens were actively contacted and asked to apply for the appointment of the AGBe - a further group of citizens who accompany the researchers in TAP TRUST and TAP SAFE - via a professionalized survey. Thus, a pool of interested citizens* already existed here who had expressed a strong interest in collaborating in the TRANSENS project.
From this pool, we were finally able to recruit 5 people of different age groups and from different parts of Germany for cooperation in the DBG. In order to achieve an additional gender-balanced distribution, women from the wider voluntary context of the site search were again explicitly approached.
In addition to the greatest possible diversity in terms of age, spatial distribution, professional background and gender balance, it was also important that the members should not have any professional interest in the site search.