The public is invited to participate in an experiment or study thus having a large number of participants. In this way researchers obtain a large amount of data which they then can analyse. Often the results are presented in a scientific journal. They are aimed at attracting the public’s attention to a scientific subject and invite all visitors to watch, analyse and evaluate.
For scientist it is a good way to gather lots of data if needed for their research. Participants gain an insight into how research works and they learn about scientific methods and allows them to feel to be a part of “research/science”. Further, you can attract many people with just one activity and such mass experiments are often picked up by the media.
- Format can be adapted to different publics
Research institutes or scientific persons who require lots of data for their research or are skilled to run a mass experiment.
- Find a suitable mass experiment
- Decide on where and with whom you want to run the experiment
- Promote your mass experiment
The selection of mass experiments is not easy. They have to include questions which have possibly not been answered by science and can be followed easily by the public. Think carefully about your experiment such as what data you need and how you can analysed the data. It is important that the observation and activity tasks are simple to do, clear results are produced and can be easily communicated so that scientists can use the results.
Science Communication Toolbox, Sweden