The Citizen Cyberscience Centre (CCC) is a partnership established in 2009 to promote the use of citizen science on the Web, as an appropriate low-cost technology for researchers in developing regions. The CCC partners are CERN, the UN Institute for Training and Research and the University of Geneva. The Shuttleworth Foundation is the founding sponsor of the centre, and project sponsors include IBM, HP, the Open Society Foundations and the Sloan Foundation.
“Citizen cyberscience is a grass-roots movement which challenges the assumption that only professionals can do science. Given the right tools and incentives, and some online training, millions of enthusiastic volunteers can make a real difference, contributing to significant scientific discoveries.” – Pierre Spierer, Vice Rector for Research of the University of Geneva. (as quoted by PC Magazine)
The vision of the CCC, hosted at CERN is to provide a sustainable framework to disseminate the technological know-how needed to exploit citizen cyberscience more widely in developing regions, for both fundamental science and humanitarian applications.
At present most citizen cyberscience projects are organized by scientists in Europe and North America. But thanks to support from the South-African-based Shuttleworth Foundation, a founding sponsor of the Citizen Cyberscience Centre, lectures and hands-on training events have been organized in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, Brasilia, Chennai, Geneva, London, Mauritius, Mumbai, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Taipei. This is helping to spread know-how about citizen cyberscience more widely in developing regions, and generate new projects there.
The CCC supports the following activities:
- providing consultancy to researchers to apply citizen cyberscience techniques;
- organizing hands-on workshops that promote the use of citizen cyberscience in the developing world;
- creating pedagogical material about citizen cyberscience for the general public, civil society organizations and schools.
Through its work, the CCC emphasizes collaboration between academia and international research organizations to create practical, open source software tools for web-based public participation in science.
The CCC founding partners are the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UNITAR, the University of Geneva, UNIGE, and the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN. The Partners have a common interest in, and experience of, developing Citizen Cyberscience applications for humanitarian and fundamental research.
It has been demonstrated through collaborative activities between CERN, UNIGE, and UNITAR that citizen cyberscience projects can provide individuals and institutions in the developing world with an appropriate low-cost technology for research, as well as training young scientists and IT professionals from the developing world in new information technologies.
The Shuttleworth Foundation is an experiment in open philanthropy and uses alternative funding methodologies, new technologies and collaborative ways of working to support dynamic leaders who are at the forefront of social change.
Sponsor status is open to organizations with a recognized standard of excellence in the field of information technology and to institutional public donors. Requests from any other interested entity or person shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.
There are two categories of Sponsors: Founding Sponsors, who contribute to the core costs of running the Citizen Cyberscience Centre and Project Sponsors, whose contribution is earmarked for specific projects that the Partners define in collaboration with the Project sponsor.