Unconference Session 1: Community building

How do we grow the community even further?

Trust: how do we get people to trust it more? Publications carry more weight for this than open platforms (unfortunately). Maybe publications come from interesting/novel use cases rather than the microscope design itself, there’s always a difficult question about whether something is publishable. Telling stories about different uses - biomedical in particular - is really important and helpful whether or not it’s published.

Exposed wires really don’t help people trust it, that’s being fixed in v7. There’s a cost/benefit trade off to trying the microscope design, it’s a risk as you don’t know whether it is what you want until you have one, and that takes time and $$.

Getting instructions and supply chains to the point where you can really produce something reliably and a really big community takes a lot of time. That’s very hard to justify on 1-3 year timescales that correspond to academic projects and postdoc contracts.

How do you get a good overview of alternatives - e.g UC2/FlyPi/OpenFlexure/OctoPi/…

How do we support the core development team? That will always be needed to underpin a community, but it’s really hard to fund long-term. Consultancy/costing people into grants focused on applications might be a good way to support the core team, but it needs many projects to make a full time role.