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Research – co-creation and co-design in science

Extreme Citizen Science (2010 – ongoing)

Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) is a situated, bottom-up practice that takes into account local needs, practices and culture and works with broad networks of people to design and build new devices and knowledge creation processes that can transform the world. We bring together scholars from diverse fields to contribute to the guiding theories, tools and methodologies that will enable any community to start a Citizen Science project to deal with issues that concern them. We aim to provide any user, regardless of their background or literacy level, with a set of tools that can be used to collect, analyse and act on information according to agreed upon scientific methods.

Projects include:

Doing it Together Science: These activities move beyond more traditional approaches of engagement (e.g. hearings, public meetings, non-interactive exhibits) into direct engagement that builds upon hands-on DIY, grassroots, and frugal innovation initiatives. Our activities focus on two themes: biodesign (the use of living things such as bacteria or plants in designing products or art) and environmental sustainability. Not only do we want to engage citizens but also but also policy makers, local decision makers and funders.


Analysis & Visualisation: The project aims to develop geographical analysis and visualisation tools that can be used by non-literate people and any other community in a culturally appropriate ways, that fit their needs and social practices. This is part of our on-going effort towards assisting indigenous communities in knowledge co-production practices to address problems and issues that are important to them, in some of the most critical environments on Earth.


WeGovNow! The project involves a set of innovative technologies which we integrate within a unified citizen engagement platform (i.e. WeGovNow! platform), as a solution to overcome limitations of existing digital tools in the context of citizen reporting, e-participation, and citizen-government communication. In doing so, WeGovNow! enables a new type of interactivity, enhancing and expanding the viability of and capacity for citizen co-production in the public sector, not only in a traditional citizen-to-government dynamic, but also in an arrangement where the government informs, assists, and enables private actions, or where citizens assist one another, with IT replacing the dependency on administrations as a vehicle for collective action.


Keywords: situated practice, networks, knowledge creation, citizen science, interdisciplinary research, participatory action research, participatory mapping

Contributed by: Muki Haklay – University College London, Extreme Citizen Science Group




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