15 Photobioreactors.jpg

Photobioreactors is a simple ecological experiment designed to demonstrate a bunch of concepts related to the interconnectedness of our biosphere. Participants will go through the process of sampling algae/cyanobacteria from the local environment, deciding what nutrients the samples need to grow, and then monitoring the progress of their sampled cultures. They will learn about the nature of science, as well as specific concepts such as photosynthesis and the carbon cycle, which can support wider discussions about the role of science and technology and humankind’s place within our biosphere.

Technology/tools: As little or as much as we want! I've put together a Arduino-powered turbidity sensor for automatically logging growth, but simple visual observations of colour change are also great.

Hopepunk, like solarpunk and a host of other literary genres and authors, helps point the way towards the utopian horizon; science is one of the tools which we use to navigate the path. The nature of science can seem a bit impenetrable from the outside, but the basic principle is simple: like literature, it’s all about careful observation and creativity.

Participants: As many as want to take part


  • No prior experience or knowledge necessary
  • Sampling will take place outside, but supplied microbial cultures can be used if sampling is not possible for any reason
  • I can assist with in setting up (or entirely set up) any individual group’s photobioreactor if anyone has mobility or other issues
  • Workshop will be conducted in English


Euan is a former research scientist (PhD in astrobiology/planetary science, post-doc in extreme-environment microbiology) now working as a designer and publisher in Den Haag.