Research & Development
Topfit Citizenlab is a multi-year project that aims to make the residents of Twente live two years longer, happily and healthily. The focus is on prevention and promoting a healthier lifestyle, including the use of new technology. The special thing about the project is that it does not have a top-down approach, but that it takes place according to the principles of citizen science in close collaboration with the inhabitants, researchers and developers.
What is CitizenScience?
Citizen Science is a concept that has been on the rise in the last 10-20 years. In a general sense, it is usually understood as a method in which citizens are involved in scientific research. The topic can vary widely: from geography to astronomy, from history to health. The involvement can also be very different: from helping with the collection of data (think of measuring particulate matter via your telephone), to thinking about a research question or designing the research yourself.
Citizen Science is both about the involvement of citizens in scientific research carried out by researchers, and about the involvement of scientists in the research of citizens. With this we underline that the question of scientists does not always have to come first. Citizen Science is certainly also about the use of scientific methods to answer a question from citizens. The ultimate goal is to create valuable knowledge in the collaboration between scientists and citizens, and possibly other parties such as municipal health services, NGOs, companies and educational institutions: valuable for themselves, valuable for science, valuable for society. What is valuable and what is not will differ per project. It is precisely in order to clarify this that a good and continuous dialogue between scientists and citizens is of great importance.
Citizen Science comprises research activities in which citizens and scientists (and possibly other parties) work together to arrive at valuable knowledge: valuable for individual citizens, valuable for science, valuable for society.