The Web is ushering in a new age of public participation in science. Projects such as SETI@home searching for extraterrestrial intelligence,LHC@home simulating CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and GalaxyZoo cataloguing millions of astronomical images, have demonstrated how thousands of dedicated volunteers can make a big difference to fundamental science.
Regional initiatives involving CERN, the University of Geneva and UN organizations have exploited this trend. The short-term projects Africa@home and Asia@home trained scientists in developing countries to use internet-based volunteer support in order to address pressing health and development challenges.
These initiatives highlighted the benefits of closer collaboration between scientific, humanitarian and academic partners, both North and South. To build on this success, a sustained effort is required, in the form of a Citizen Cyberscience Centre.