Feminist Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Experimental Science
Opening Access to Participatory Science in Hybrid Spaces
The FLIES project is an intentional hybrid physical/remote space in which participants can develop a collaborative, feminist exploration of sexual selection, pigmentation and climate change through establishing and experiencing relationships with fruit flies (Drosophila).
The FLIES project was created, by both intention and necessity, in the tradition of DIY labs that align with feminist science praxis, as well as the move to “remote” existence that blurred distinctions between public and private research space enforced by institutional and social disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FLIES model can be easily and economically cloned in various locations using common household kitchen tools and appliances as well as recycled objects such as plastic drink cups and styrofoam food boxes. The flies themselves (Drosophila melanogaster), are human commensals found freely living on every continent besides Antarctica, in kitchens, gardens, compost and rubbish.
FLIES supports space for open-ended feminist explorations through developing relationships with fruit flies, whereby we can critique and expand conventional science; reimagine a more open, accessible, and participatory STEM praxis; and learn more about ourselves and the agency of non-human companions in the world.
While not limited to traditional academic and educational contexts, FLIES supports an undergraduate laboratory science course, WS/SCI 347U Gender, Science and Social Context, in which participants creatively explore climate change response-ability through relationships with fruit flies.