– Public Engagement in a Research Project: Designing Citizen Science Activities as a Part of its Business Model –
Abstract: The pervasive use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has enabled the possibility to open some scientific projects to non-academic researchers. The potentialities of distributed research systems are evident (broad geographical coverage, increased human computational power, engagement in science), while the process and the problematics of designing the research activities so to be inclusive and facilitate external participation, are still not exhaustively defined. This short paper, choosing to follow an Action Research method, aims to present the experience of designing a set of activities for public engagement to be integrated in a robotics research project (HeritageBot). Our aim is to discuss the dynamics and the problems emerging while planning citizen science activities through empirical episodes, in order to start understanding both limitations and working heuristics of this approach. We will also discuss how public engagement activities could be integrated into the business model of a research project aiming to bring its results to the market.
Keywords—Citizen science; Open Science; User Engagement; Action Research; Experiments; Research Design; Heritage Bot