Citizen Science, online identities and maximising Twitter: highlights from the Market Research Society's Connected World.

Lena Roland

Citizen Science: Gaming for good

Crowdsourcing isn't just about raising money or trawling for ideas. Speaking at the Market Research Society's Connected World event, held in central London in July 2014, Amy Carton, Citizen Science programme lead manager, discussed her work with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). Citizen Science harnesses the power of the crowd to advance scientific research and help solve research problems in a time-efficient way. A survey conducted by CRUK found that people have an appetite to help a good cause: more than 20 million people in the UK said they were keen to contribute to a Citizen Science project to help beat cancer.

Carton explained that, when it comes to data analysis, "accuracy comes with volume", hence her task was to get as many people as possible involved with finding a cure for cancer. But time is of the essence as finding a cure depends on how quickly researchers can analyse the petabytes of CRUK data. Thus Carton's challenge was to find a way to help CRUK reduce data analysis times.