The citizen’s role in research to address real-world problems 


‘Open science’ is a term that captures exciting changes in the way research is conducted. For scientists, it means increased use of open-access scientific publishing and open data. For the public, it means greater opportunity to understand and participate in scientific activity. 

Open science can support greater transparency, collaboration and research integrity in the short term and improve scientific quality in the long term. ‘Citizen science’ is an important part of this growing movement, taking research outside scientific circles and bringing non-specialists much closer to the centre of the research process. 

Our Thought Leadership consultation focused on the emerging and most interesting developments in citizen science. 

Citizen science has for many years involved volunteers helping academic researchers with data collection and analysis. However, emerging examples across the research life cycle go beyond data collection and analysis. They extend to: research planning and design; crowdfunding for research; and disseminating and using the research findings. 

We discussed how citizen scientists use digital technologies to conduct collaborative and ambitious research to address real-world concerns. Digital technologies are also being used to raise awareness of citizen science projects and make the concept accessible to those outside of academic circles who are not familiar with it. 


You can view the briefing paper prepared for our Open Science Thought Leadership discussion here:


The final report of the Open Science discussion can be viewed here: