On September 1, researchers from Erasmus SYNC Lab received an Open Science Award from Minister Dijkgraaf for their initiative YoungXperts, a youth platform and living lab. The award was presented during the Netherlands Open Science Festival. This scientific conference wants to inspire researchers to work with Open Science principles. Open Science stands for research that is accessible and reusable for everyone. In this way, scientists and society can benefit from research results.
Giving young people a voice
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof. Eveline Crone, Dr. Suzanne van de Groep, Dr. Lysanne te Brinke, Dr. Renske van der Cruijsen, Kayla Green and Fabienne van Rossenberg developed the youth platform YoungXperts. The platform, which consists of an Instagram account and a website, wants to reach young people and give them a voice in society. Suzanne van de Groep: "Involving society in research is an important pillar of Open Science. Through YoungXperts, young people provide important feedback on our research and how the results can be used. This way, our research can benefit young people's and society's future."
Connecting research to policy
Through YoungXperts, young people receive scientific information about their behavioural and brain development. They are also involved in co-creation projects with social partners such as MDT op Zuid and the Young Climate Movement (de Jonge Klimaatbeweging). In collaboration with these partners, coping strategies and solutions to societal challenges, such as the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and social inequality, are designed. The researchers present this information to policymakers, teachers, and youth workers. During the lockdown, for example, Eveline Crone presented a manifesto to Prime Minister Rutte to urge him to take the voices of young people seriously during the Covid crisis.
YoungXperts example of co-creation
The Open Science Festival program committee was impressed with YoungXperts' results, writing, among other things: "A very well described Use Case, which is a great example of embedding youth into all steps of the research process; effectively enabling them to suggest topics for research, be part of research, and co-create solutions to societal problems." Receiving the award and their participation at the Open Science festival motivates the researchers of Erasmus SYNC Lab to continue working with Open Science principles in the future. "We are thrilled with this appreciation for YoungXperts. In the coming period, we will continue our efforts to involve young people, and other partners in our research," says Lysanne te Brinke.