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How can science be practiced in an ‘open’ way, so others have the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the scientific process? How can we improve research so that it benefits society? Citizen Science is seen as an increasingly important answer to these challenges. In this method, it is not only citizens and researchers who collaborate. Policy makers, businesses, and non-profit organisations also have input during the different phases of the research process and innovation development. This way, society as a whole benefits. Therefore, Citizen Science is one of DesignLab's three focus areas.
At DesignLab, we consider Citizen Science as scientific research in which members of the general public are involved in not only the collection and analysis of data, but also in the formulation of research questions. This means that citizens are involved from the start, collaborating with professional scientists.
As the centre for Citizen Science within the University of Twente, DesignLab is involved in several initiatives to promote Citizen Science and involve communites outside of campus. Next to the focus on health in the iconic CitizenLab project, we will broaden our scope to other societal challenges and target groups.
We are currently setting up a Citizen Science Hub for the whole of the University of Twente and beyond. This hub will further develop the ‘Twente Model’ for citizen science, and share knowledge, skills and good practices with the international network in this field.
Also, DesignLab is partner in the Topfit CitizenLab/NoaberLab, in which health care providers, patient organisations, health insurers, companies and knowledge institutions collaborate. The goal is to supports citizens in adding happy and healthy years to their lives, supported by technology.
Citizen Science is strongly connected to the other two focus areas of DesignLab: Responsible Design and a Transdisciplinary Approach.