Chapter of the book Contextualizing Openness: Situating Open Science, edited by Leslie Chan, Angela Okune, Rebecca Hillyer, Denisse Albornoz, and Alejandro Posada. The chapter is an outcome of the Ciencia Aberta Ubatuba project.

Authors: Sarita Albagli, Henrique Parra, Felipe Fonseca, and Maria Lucia Maciel.


The community of Ubatuba, in São Paulo, Brazil, is located in a dense rainforest region. A diverse mix of Indigenous communities, researchers, activists, and policy makers are interested in the area. Thus, it makes a compelling case study for examining the potential of Open and Collaborative Science (OCS) from a sustainable development perspective. This project draws on a reflective, action-based research approach to understanding the institutional, cultural, and political challenges involved in the adoption of an OCS approach for development in Ubatuba, Brazil, by interacting with a variety of different actors. The authors conclude that, on one hand, OCS does create new spaces and methods for traditionally marginalized groups to engage in scientific discussions and local problem-solving, mainly in controversial and conflict situations and as a condition for resilience and political struggle for alternative paths of development. On the other hand, the very idea of openness is under dispute: What (Open) Science and for whom?

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