Dr Mordechai Haklay, University College London

Extreme Citizen Science – ExCiteS

A new research group, Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS), will be created by the Challenging Engineering award. Aiming to bridge the gap between expert scientists and the public, the group will develop theory, methodologies and tools to enable communities to do bottom-up citizen science activity, regardless of the level of literacy. Collaboration will increase data collection and other resources for professional scientists, while both increasing research impact and raising scientific understanding across society.

Current citizen science activities require a high level of literacy. I will lead the development of a core technology platform for ExCiteS projects, suitable for operation down to non-literate users. The technology will be tested both in the UK and internationally. In this innovative project, I am weaving together my research interests in participatory mapping, citizen science, Human-Computer Interaction, public use of environmental information and Geographic Information Science (GISc). I am taking a multi-disciplinary approach, collaborating with anthropologists, computer scientists and other experts. This will increase the chances of success - and the research impact of the award.