The first co-creation event of the Citizen Science project Genigma kick-started at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona in January where close to 40 participants engaged with their most creative ideas to develop an app to discover the genomic alterations in cancer cells. Genigma is one of the two Citizen Science projects that has received funding from the ORION project.
How can you establish cultural change? How do you implement and embed Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in your organisation? These are the questions that the ORION project aims to answer. From the start of the project in 2017, ORION has been exploring how to establish an open dialogue with society on relevant research topics, such as genome editing, and has been developing new ways and collaborations between researchers and the general public. Co-creation is at heart of the ORION project.
Citizen Science offers great opportunities for the public to participate in the research process themselves, instead of merely being informed of research results. In two pilot Citizen Science projects being supported by ORION Open Science, citizens will actively contribute to a research study to assemble cancer genomes in 3D by playing the Genigma video game and young people will be monitoring their daily activity to inform future health research in the SMOVE project.
The dangerous life of the couch potato: People who spend too long sitting are at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In the citizen science project SMOVE, the ORION partner MDC is joining forces with schoolchildren to research the relationship between environmental influences and sedentary behavior.
In order to engage the public in science and design effective citizen science projects, it is important to understand the main motivations that drive individuals to engage in research. A pan-European study by the EU ORION Open Science project has revealed gender and age differences when it comes to the reasons that motivate members of the public to get involved in life sciences research.
Our report "Public attitudes to life sciences research in six European countries" shows that interest in life sciences research is generally high among citizens and that the three most accepted purposes of using genome editing are related to the medical field. 6000 persons were interviewed in this pan-European study which was led by the ORION partners VA in Sweden and CEITEC in the Czech Republic.
Dr Luiza Bengtsson and Dr Emma Harris of the ORION Training Team together with their fellow MDC scientists Professor Uwe Ohler and Dr Philipp Boß held a citizen science session about their research topics at the re:publica conference in Berlin in May and discovered the fears and fascination sharing health data holds for the public.