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Science Bungalow: A New Way to Approach Science

By March 12, 2024No Comments

By: Emily Stiles, UW News Lab

Xavi Guitart (pictured), a graduate student at the University of Washington (UW) has created a way to make academic research more accessible, after experiencing access issues during his own research.

As a result, he is now in the process of launching a new social media platform, Science Bungalow, which allows researchers to upload their research papers through video presentations—making their research more accessible and captivating to a wider audience. 

After completing his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, Guitart found himself drawn to sequencing and gene engineering. After gaining exposure as a data scientist at a research lab, Guitart was called to UW’s Genome Sciences department.

“During my first year, we had to read a lot of papers for classes, and my unconventional background put me at a real disadvantage,” says Guitart. “Some papers would take me the better part of a week to really understand.” 

However, Guitart found his class seminars to be the most beneficial to his learning and understanding of the science-heavy material.

“I found that I would retain so much more information from those short 20-minute seminars than I could ever hope to get from reading the papers of those same projects,” says Guitart. “The contrast is what really started to put the idea in my head.”

In the summer of 2023, Guitart pitched the Science Bungalow platform at The U.S. National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps)a seven-week entrepreneurial training program that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory.

Guitart is planning on also attending the Dempsey Startup Competition, a program run out of the UW Foster Business School where student teams work on a business or nonprofit pitch to professors, entrepreneurs, and organization partners. 

“I’m hoping to get all the constructive criticism I can get for making this a better platform by the summertime,” says Guitarti. 

Guitart is currently in the process of recreating Science Bungalow with User Experience (UX) Designer and UW graduate student, Nick Brown. 

“I don’t have much experience with web development, but I’m really lucky to have some smart and creative people in my network that are helping me with this process,” says Guitart. “We’re confident that once we have enough people presenting on Science Bungalow, the dominoes will start to fall, and more researchers will participate.”