Published by the Commons Lab, “New Visions in Citizen Science” showcases seventeen case studies that offer a mosaic view of federally-sponsored citizen science and open innovation projects, from in-the-field data collection to online games for collective problem-solving. This report offers a sampling of different models that support public contribution, potential challenges, and positive impacts that projects can have on scientific literacy, research, management, and public policy.
Some case studies represent traditional but well-executed projects that illustrate how citizen science functions at its best, by contributing to robust scientific research. Other projects, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’ s International Space Apps Challenge, evolve from these traditional models, demonstrating how open innovation can address agency-specific challenges in new and compelling ways. Through this progression, the evolution of citizen science begins to take shape, and the full possibilities of open innovation begin to emerge.
Citizen science is one form of open innovation, a paradigm where organizations solicit the efforts of external contributors with unique perspectives who generate new knowledge and technology, or otherwise bolster organizational resources.Recent executive branch policies encourage and support open innovation in the federal government.
Download: “New Visions in Citizen Science”