When you are working with EGI chances are you are working on a team of scientists. Perhaps you are working together with a dozen other scientists, perhaps even a hundred, or maybe you are working on one of those experiments with a few thousands other scientists. Did you know however, you could enlarge your team with thousands of new scientists? Citizen scientists as they are called could help you with their computing time and add vast resources to your infrastructure. More importantly, perhaps, they learn about your research and they can explain it to other citizens. But they can also teach you, by performing important work and by asking questions. This presentation will walk you through the possibilities and pitfalls when you want to work together with citizen scientists. It will also tell you about the help available through organisations already collaborating in this way and that are member of the International Desktop Grid Federation.
This presentation will start with an overview of some successes of citizen scientists that took part in scientific research and have got their contributions acknowledged. However also the hundreds of thousands of other citizens that contributed their unused computing time to science feel good about their participation. Getting them involved and keeping them involved requires communicating the objectives of the research and the results with them. This is the basic lesson of getting citizen scientists involved.
There are, however, more things to take into account and we will also share that in this presentation. For instance in the IDGF-SP project we are looking at organizing very active citizens into an ambassador network. This would be an opportunity for (traditional) scientists to get in touch with these ambassadors.
We will also, briefly, describe the International Desktop Grid Federation and how members of that organisation can help closing the gap between scientists and citizens. There is also a guide "Desktop Grids for eScience - A Roadmap" available with some background information.
Focusing on the citizen scientist aspect of volunteer Desktop Grid computing, participants will get a better understanding of what motivates citizens to contribute their unused computing capacity to science. It also wil increase understanding of what can and needs to be done by scientists to involve more citizens in their team.