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The Power of Community Science

Community science is the collaboration of researchers and community members to propose solutions to problems usually pertaining to public health. The relationship between these two parties can be difficult to build within the time limits of each research project. In order for researchers to gain the type of access they need into the community there needs to be a sense of trust and an understanding of their purpose in being there. When I interviewed members of the UCAR Weather Project I was amazed by the amount of access the seemed to have into the homes and lives of the people they worked with in Navrongo, Ghana. I was lucky enough to speak with local researcher, Maxwell Dabala who informed me about the withstanding relationship between his community and researchers. The Navrongo Research Center has hosted many projects in its 25 years, including the Meningitis Project. Scientists are welcomed by the community because of the center’s longevity and positive reputation. The best part about it is that within the past few decades, the younger generations of Navrongo have been inspired to pursue education and careers in the sciences so that they can be change agents too one day. One of these inspired children grew up to be Maxwell Dabala who is currently working on his X in Y and has enjoyed working with many researchers during his time with Navrongo.