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OpenUC2: From Ideas to Globally Accessible Instruments
February 28, 2023 @ 10:00 – 11:00 CET
Speaker: Benedict Diederich, Leibniz IPHT Jena
Pandemics, extinction of species, and antibiotic crises: These are not dystopian scenarios of the distant future, but current, observable problems that people globally are now trying to deal with. Science is responsible here for guiding the path, researching connections on a global level and disseminating its findings. However, technical expertise and financial investments in laboratory equipment and experiments are often limiting factors. What follows from this is the lack of accessibility to the scientific tools necessary for researching socially relevant topics.
“Frugal Science” thinks of scientific instruments from a whole new perspective. Limited by the available budget and parts, one has to get creative to solve a scientific question posed by society. Following this idea, we have applied this method to the – in many situations – costly field of microscopy to provide a deeper insight into the microcosm for everyone, everywhere. With our modular, open-source optics toolbox UC2 (You.See.Too.), we provide teaching materials in STEM subjects and put powerful optical tools in the hands of those who need them most: Biologists, Chemists, Physicists, Computational scientists, and students. We prove its capabilities as a rapid prototyping tool for optics by rapidly developing a new method to capture large amounts of plankton in 3D using a light sheet and a holographic setup. The “HoLiSheet” costs less than the laptop that processes the data and is fully open-source.