This past 12 and 13 of November marked the beginning of a 3 year journey into the consolidation of the Citizen Cyberlab, an FP7-ICT-funded initiative. Members of the Citizen Cyberlab consortium met to kick-off their project “Citizen Cyberlab: Technology enhanced creative learning in the field of citizen cyberscience“. With members from Université Paris Descartes (UPD), CERN, Université de Genève, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Imperial College London, The Mobile Collective and University College London (UCL), the team’s project has a focus on the learning and creativity processes in citizen science and how to optimise them. One of their main goals is to research an evaluate online collaborative environments, software and tools for Citizen Cyberscience. This will enable the group to pioneer open source platforms and tools that will enable and enhance learning and creativity in Citizen Cyberscience.
Citizen Cyberscience harnesses the Internet to allow ordinary citizens to participate in scientific projects. In this initiative, four pilot projects
will be used as test-beds including a particle physics game by CERN, collaborative disaster mapping by UNITAR, extreme citizen science projects by UCL, and a hands-on crowdsourcing synthetic biology project by UPD. Imperial College London will focus on the development of tools and platforms that will reduce the barrier to participation citizen science projects. Because all of these pilot projects will provide a multiplicity of insights into the learning and creativity of Citizen Cyberscience , there will be a need for new understanding and evaluation creative behaviours, which will be carried out by the University of Genève and the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) in terms of educational technology and human-computer-interaction.
The Citizen Cyberlab is collaborative effort fueled by a belief in the power of citizen science not only in its contribution to scientific advancement but in the transformation of the way science is done and the in impact it has on people’s lives. As a powerful incentive for creative problem-solving, a source of informal learning and a way of changing the world through collaborative action, there is much to be learnt in Citizen Cyberscience. An important feature of the Citizen Cyberlab is that it is envisioned as evolving beyond the project lifetime, to be continued at the Citizen Cyberscience Centre based at CERN.
You can follow the development of the project on Twitter at @CitizenCyberlab and a website will be up soon.