Turing's Sunflowers - case study: citizen science


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Short presentation for interdisciplinary meeting on knowledge exchange and impact of t research at The University of Manchester.

With insights into crowdsourcing strategies to achieve a big dataset, wide reach and key learning objective.

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  • In a letter to his art dealer brother, Theo, wrote, the sunflower is mine… that was until, last year I got involved in a project called Turing’s Sunflowers….
  • I’m going to talk to you briefly about this experiment, how it achieved impact through public engagement but also to mention a few of the missed opportunities where impact is concerned
  • Google survey into cross platform behaviour Smartphones keep us connected and for finding things out quickly Tablets keep us entertained – more exploratory approach with more entertainment oriented content Computers keep us productive and informed – serious learning takes place on the computer
  • The Turing’s Sunflowers project team. Professor Jonathan Swinton, Computation Biologist came up with the idea and approached Natalie Ireland at MOSI as director of Manchester Science Festival. Science communicator and digital producer, Dr Erinma Ochu, produced the project working with Natalie, Jonathan & a range of other partners. These figures show the scope for wider participation in terms of events outside of Greater Manchester. For our next citizen science project, Hooked, we want to better involve other Science Museum Group venues.
  • Additional partners that put on events, spread the word and supported the project. Key to the social media strategy was the partnership with BBC Outreach… who helped us with the crowdsourcing campaign.
  • The SUNFLOWER DIARIES CAMPAIGN consisted of A CALL TO ACTION – short video telling people how to get involved & how to film Web instructions on how to film and upload to youtube Fortnightly questions for people to respond to with a video Videos blogged & tweeted Final short film that included some of the videos – played at Manchester Science Festival
  • The partnership with the BBC meant it was easy to get content straight to news rooms at media city. The results were reported online for example by BBC Manchester and included a selection of the video diaries.
  • The final evaluation by sally fort revealed what people did… and they didn’t just grow sunflowers… alongside the media reach of the project, social sharing and contributions through events, blogging and giving talks and creating learning resources was critical to success.
  • Just a few examples of what people did, and not just digital…. Artists’ spear fish were inspired by TS to create a giant baby with a sunflower headress for the day parade
  • Choir sung a specially composed fibonacci song so people could hear what the number patterns sounded like
  • Some lessons from crowdsourcing digital content….
  • Manchester Science Festival & MOSI partners for Turing’s Sunflowers
  • Turing's Sunflowers - case study: citizen science

    1. 1. …the sunflower is mine… Van Gogh 1880 …the sunflower is mine… Van Gogh 1880 Erinma OchuErinma Ochu
    2. 2. #citizenscience#citizenscience 1. Crowdsource number patterns in nature dataset 2. Engage 3000 people from Greater Manchester 3. Learn about Turing & how number patterns work in sunflowers 4. Provide a media story
    3. 3. Cross Platform Behaviour http://bit.ly/1aZHPgA
    4. 4. Media Reach: 62.8Million User generated content views: (images & video): 124,248 Event attendees: 3046 (80% from Greater Manchester) Email registrations: 28% from Greater Manchester Sunflowers pledged: 12,000 (35% from Greater Manchester) Other Blogs: 40 Countries: data from 7 countries; pledges from 22 Digital & Partnership Strategy Digital & Partnership Strategy
    5. 5. Outreach StrategyOutreach Strategy
    6. 6. How can the crowd help? http://www.Sallyfort.comhttp://bit.ly/ZL3sSd
    7. 7. Open Voice Community ChoirOpen Voice Community Choir
    8. 8. Lessons Learned Build Community Opportunity Cross-disciplinary research Extend reach & demographics Builds audience & content Promotes learning Key partnerships Support contributors Provide learning resources Recognise contributions
    9. 9. www.slideshare.com/erinmaochu erinma.ochu@manchester.ac.uk