Wednesday, 4 August 2010

World’s first summit on citizen cyberscience

At the moment we are gearing up for the summit next month (tickets available here) and in that spirit we have put out a press release. It is a good overview of the summit and the people involved so I have posted it below for anyone interested.

The world’s first summit on citizen cyberscience will be held at King’s College London on 2-3 September.

Citizen cyberscience is a growing trend where ordinary people use their computers and the world wide web to contribute in meaningful ways to an increasingly wide range of scientific challenges.

Citizen cyberscience activity takes place all over the world and by its very nature participants very rarely – if ever – meet. This event will showcase a cross-section of these projects and will provide a platform for for scientists and citizens to share their thoughts on the impact of citizen cyberscience face-to-face.

The summit will be hosted by King’s College London, and is organised jointly by the Citizen Cyberscience Centre, based at CERN in Geneva; the Centre for e-Research at King’s; Queen Mary, University of London; Imperial College London; University College London and GridRepublic. It is supported by the Shuttleworth Foundation, the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), e-ScienceTalk and Microsoft Research.

Confirmed speakers include David Anderson, director of the SETI@home project, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of Berkeley; George Dyson, historian and philosopher of science and author of ‘Darwin Among the Machines’; and Myles Allen, head of at Oxford University.

There are currently more than 100 active citizen cyberscience projects - many address topical themes, such as modelling climate change ( or simulating the spread of malaria ( King’s staff will demonstrate how citizen cyberscience can be applied to the cultural heritage sector through the East London Theatre Archive project (

John Ellis, CERN and incoming James Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics at King's College London said:
“Citizen cyberscience offers people around the world the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge scientific research that may be of fundamental significance, as well as having applications relevant to their own lives. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has already benefited from the contributions of citizen cyberscientists, and this event will provide an ideal opportunity to showcase this and other possibilities for more citizen cyberscientists to get involved in this and other scientific projects.”

Mark Hedges, Deputy Director of the Centre for e-Research at King’s College London said:
"Citizen cyberscience has great potential not only for scientific researchers but also for those working in the humanities and cultural heritage. By bringing together experts in the field, this summit will both advance the techniques of citizen cyberscience, and encourage public participation by publicising the various applications among a broader community. The Centre for e-Research at King's has a strong interest in supporting citizen cyberscience and we are delighted to be able to host this important event."

Francois Gray, Citizen Cyberscience Centre Co-ordinator, said:
"There are already hundreds of thousands of people actively contributing to citizen cyberscience - we want to reach tens of millions. This event will provide a unique opportunity to brainstorm about how new technologies can enhance citizen cyberscience, and how researchers in the developing world can exploit this highly appropriate low-cost approach to doing science. One bold ambition of the summit is to draft a citizen cyberscience manifesto, involving all stakeholders in the field."

The event will be of interest to both amateur and professional scientists, to people who care about the impact of science on society, and of society on science, and to those working in the digital humanities and cultural heritage.

The Citizen Cyberscience Summit will take place on 2-3 September 2010 in the Anatomy Theatre & Museum at King’s College London’s Strand Campus. To see the full programme and for information about how to book tickets, see The event will also be webcast.

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