Summit 2010

2010 – September 2nd & 3rd – King’s College London

The London Citizen Cyberscience Summit was a great chance for scientists and citizens to learn about the latest breakthroughs in citizen cyberscience. It was a unique opportunity to brainstorm about how new technologies can enhance citizen cyberscience.

Who came?
• Scientists, aspiring and established, amateur and professional, online or in the field.
• Citizens who care about the impact of science on society, and of society on science.

Who spoke?
• David Anderson, director of the SETI@home project, Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley.
• George Dyson, historian and philosopher of science and author of Darwin Among The Machines.
• Myles Allen, head of at Oxford University
…and many more, see the programme below for details.

Thursday 2 September

8:30 Doors open

9:00 Welcome address - Chair – Mark Hedges, Deputy Director, Centre for e-Research, King’s College London

Morning Session: Citizen Cyberscience, Past Tense - Historical examples of citizen science, distributed computing and distributed thinking. Chair – Hanny van Arkel, Biology Teacher at Citaverde College and Citizen Cyberscientist

While volunteering for the Galaxy Zoo project, teacher Hanny van Arkel came across an unexplained astronomical object – Hanny’s Voorwerp. Hanny tells us more about her find below – you can also read more at her website

9:30 Lessons from the Ancient History of Crowd Sourcing - David Grier, Author of “When Computers Were Human

10:00 How the Digital Universe got its Spots- George Dyson, Author of “Darwin Among the Machines”

10:30 Tea Break

11:00 Follow the money: what we’ve learned from ‘Where’s George?’ - Christian Thiemann, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems

11:20 Finding primes: from digits to digital technology - Rytis Slatkevičius, Founder of PrimeGrid

11:40 A Brief History of (CPU) Time - David Anderson, Director of BOINC and SETI@home, UC Berkeley

12:00 Lunch

Afternoon Session: Citizen Cyberscience, Present Tense - A survey of some of the latest results from citizen cyberscience projects. Chair – Geoffrey Carr, Science Editor, The Economist

 13:30 Why does climate science needs exaflops – and what kind of exaflops? - Myles Allen, Head of, Oxford University

13:50 Einstein@Home: hunting for neutron stars with gravitational and radio waves - Bruce Allen, Lead Scientist on Einstein@home, MPI for Gravitational Physics

14:10 Herbaria@home: crowd-sourcing the documentation of natural science collections - Tom Humphrey, Botanical Society of the British Isles

Citizen cyberscience projects don’t just help physicists and astronomers. Scientists from all sorts of disciplines can benefit from the efforts put in by citizens across the world.
With this in mind, this morning we heard from Tom Humphrey of the Botanical Society of the British Isles who explained how volunteers are helping to classify UK plant specimens.

His project, Herbaria@Home, asks volunteers to decipher plant specimen labels, providing information such as site name and date. This allows botanists to map these plants and track the spread (or not) of species across the UK. This provides vital biodiversity information which can be used for future studies of taxonomy, ecology, conservation and genetic biodiversity.” Read the rest of the Post on the GridCast blog.


14:30 Tea Break

15:00 From Galaxy Zoo to the Zooniverse - Steven Bamford, University of Nottingham & Citizen Science Alliance

15:20 How volunteer computing is supporting malaria control efforts in Africa - Nicolas Maire, Swiss Tropical Institute and

15:40 Supercomputing and nanoscience for everyone - Angelos Michaelides, University College London

16:00 Building cosmic ray detector networks in schools - Becky Parker, Langton Star Centre

“Among a host of enthusiastic presenters, a highlight for me was Becky Parker’s energetic presentation on building cosmic ray detector networks in schools. Through regular trips to CERN her class has had a unique insight into the world of particle physics and cosmic rays – a far cry from the experiments we did in school rolling little trucks down slopes attached to ticker tapes. Becky introduced us to the CERN@school initiative, which sends Medipix detector chips, as used in the Large Hadron Collider, into schools. A pilot group of schools in Kent are using these chips to gather data about secondary cosmic rays in the atmosphere, and Queen Mary University’s GridPP project is helping them to process the data. Hopefully this is a pilot that will take off into a whole host of schools, bring cyberscience to the citizens of tomorrow.” – Catherine Gater, Attendee. CERN@school at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit.

One person that got everybody talking yesterday was the amazing Becky Parker, a ‘superteacher’, from Langton Grammar School in Kent. Becky is inspiring her pupils to get interested in physics by setting up CERN@school, a network of cosmic ray detectors, and her enthusiasm for the project was infectious. We grabbed Becky to find out a little more about the project – watch below to find out more about her fab ideas. And if that’s not enough, you can read more in this article from iSGTW.”

17:00 Panel Session: The Anatomy of Citizen Cyberscience A panel of citizen cyberscientists describe why they volunteer their time for science projects, what they’ve learned from it, and how social networking helps science. Chair – Francois Grey, coordinator, Citizen Cyberscience Centre. Featuring: Julia Wilkinson, Bruce Borden, Richard Haselgrove, Becky Parker

18:00 End of session


Friday 3 September

8:30 Doors open

Morning Session: Citizen Cyberscience, Future TenseNew projects in the pipeline, from all around the world: short pitches by young researchers. Chair – Gareth Mitchell, BBC Digital Planet editor

 9:00 Extreme Citizen Science - Muki Haklay, University College London

9:20 AfricaMap – volunteer cartography for Africa - Peter Amoako, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

9:40 LHC@home starts to tackle real LHC physics - Ben Segal, CERN

10:00 Citizen Cyberscience in China: CAS@home - Wenjing Wu, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

10:20 Puzzle@home and the minimum information sudoku challenge - Yuting Chen, Academia Sinica

10:40 Tea break

11:10 EpiCollect – a generic framework for open data collection using smartphones - David Aanensen, Imperial College London

11:30 Volunteer thinking for enhancing London’s theatre archives - Richard Palmer, King’s College London

11:50 Volunteer online transcription of historical climate records - Philip Brohan, UK Met Office

12:10 Society of Minds – a framework for distributed thinking - Matt Blumberg, GridRepublic

12:30 Lunch

Afternoon Session: Citizen Cyberscience, Conditional Tense - The potential impact of new technologies and social networks on citizen cyberscienc. Chair – Tom Standage, The Economist Business and Technology Quarterly Editor

 14:00 Distributed Sensing: using volunteer computing to monitor earthquakes around the world - Elizabeth Cochran, University of California at Riverside and Quake-Catcher Network

14:20 Folding@home: Distributed Computing at Stanford University - Bruce Borden, Citizen Science Coordinator, Folding Community Forum

14:40 The Power of a Global Solver Network - Kevin Mobbs, Innocentive

15:00 Tea break

15:30 The challenge of scientific discovery games - Janos Barbero, University of Washington and Foldit Project

15:50 Ibercivis: from local project to national initiative - Fermin Serrano Sanz, University of Zaragoza

16:10 Getting a whole city involved in citizen cyberscience: AlmereGrid - Ad Emmen, Stichting AlmereGrid

16:20 Getting a whole region involved in citizen cyberscience: Extremadura@home - Daniel Lombraña González, University of Extremadura

16:40 Getting a global company involved in citizen cyberscience: World Community Grid - Kevin Reed, IBM

17:10 Aperitif

17:30 Evening Session: Towards a Manifesto for Citizen Cyberscience - A discussion about the future of the field. Chair – Francois Grey, coordinator, Citizen Cyberscience Centre

Scientists and citizens from around the world discuss and debate where they think citizen cyberscience should go, and how it might get there.

19:00 End of the Summit



Mark McAndrew is talking from the Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London about his startup: The Charity Engine
You can find more on their website: