GS Profile: Francesc Rodriguez

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GS News feature, Profiles in Graduate Studies. Every few weeks, we introduce you to a member of York’s Graduate Studies community, including our students, staff and Faculty. Tell us what you think at, and submit your profile using our online form.

Originally from Barcelona, Francesc Rodriguez studied in Berlin and Bielefeld, Germany before beginning his doctoral studies at York. After completing a master’s degree in history, philosophy and sociology of science, he says he came to York because “the Graduate Program in Science & Technology Studies perfectly matches my expectations.”

Francesc’s research at the University of Bielefeld looked at multiple ways the public was involved in community-based research centres, or what he calls “science shops.” At the University of Barcelona, he spent time with the Center for Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities (CREA). He looked at social transformation through participatory mechanisms and methodologies in science, a topic he is likely to delve into more deeply through his dissertation research.

Building on this earlier work, Francesc is taking advantage of national and international networks provided through York’s Institute for Science and Technology Studies while he continues to explore social engagement with science. He is most interested in science communication, “focusing on mechanisms for engaging citizens in scientific decision making.” His work, he says, is about “engagement in actual decisions, before the most important decisions have already been made.”

Through his research, Francesc wants to employ best practices in critical communicative research to “include the excluded” in policy making. It’s not enough, he says, to reach out to groups after the frameworks have already been laid. “It’s not just about asking minority groups what they think,” he says. “It’s about engaging them, as a group and as individuals, in scientific decision making to achieve real things.”

Francesc Rodriguez was awarded a 2011 York Graduate Scholarship, a 2011 Ontario Trillium Scholarship, and a 2010 annual prize from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for outstanding academic achievement and social commitment in Germany.

He is co-editing DEMESCI, a new international open access journal about public engagement, which will publish the first issue in February 2012.

He’s a fan of FCBarcelona, Phineas & Ferb, and rock’n’roll. When he’s not buried in research, you’re likely to find Francesc running through York and the York Village, or watching soccer. Growing up in Barcelona, being an FCBarcelona fan was “like a religion,” he says. “It’s a family thing. It’s something we do together, always.”