In case of dark

A few words about this website

Project In Case of Peace started in 2013 as a simple list of questions that I felt I had to ask my peers. They were questions about what we researchers are doing, how we are doing it, why and for whom. As a young researcher, I had a great esteem for the concept of science, and what I believe to be its defining humanism and rigour. But academic research had been introduced to me in a way that was making me wonder whether my profile was as compatible with the profession as I was being told it was. My research was raising specific technical problems concerning a conceptual object named "Boolean Automata Networks". And although those technical problems were consistently engaging interest and attention of collaborators, the main driving questions serially inspiring and producing their formalisations — e.g. questions about time flow, interaction of changes, reversibility of changes, the formalisation and semantics of qualitative information, its relation to change, the impact of synchronising our observations with the events we model, abstraction, what emerges from it and how — were not. Those questions were consistently being confused with "philosophical questions". The train of thought producing them was relegated to the status of casual inconsequential interpretation of the technicalities of my research. And yet it was in much more severe and urgent need of the competent support of colleagues than were the technicalities. Writing an open list of questions to my peers was my straightforward response to the situation.

And as the writing progressed, at first convertly, and then, under ostentatiously disproving eyes, the questions in the list got interspersed with evocations of my views on science — a sensual, humanistic, profoundly shareable science that greatly values human sensitivity and knows how to deal with it for the greater good of the service it is meant to provide. The list became "The Document That You Are Actually Considering". And it started morphing into a call for a version of science that we do for the best rather than one that we do to avoid the worst. The project’s primary objective became to trigger discussions among researchers that will favour this sort of science. A hosting website was created, called because of the definition of science the project promotes.

Since then, the focal point has been shifting away from the definition of science and onto the communication challenges that are inherent to the project. Thereby, the project has entered a more comfortable and strategic phase emphasising its scalable and collaborative aspects. In 2016, I was granted the permission by the Freie Universität’s Dahlem Research School to invest my research allowance into the development of the project’s website.

I am now collaborating with an interaction designer to address the following question: How can we give a form to the content of The Document That You Are Actually Considering so that it can indeed deliver a practical service to academic and scientific research? The new impulse resulted in a new vision : the practicality of both the new motivation and the interaction designer’s approach lead me once again to thoroughly re-organise my scientific research and update the formulation of its driving questions. From this, has emerged the concept of “information in the dark”, as well as the research idea I am presently especially motivated by: How do we uncover information when it's in the dark?