This year we were asked by Sydney University to be a host organisation for the Univative program, an inter-university consulting competition where students engage with real organisations and work in small teams to solve actual business problems. It offers students the chance to gain valuable experience and insights into an organisation, while practicing their skills in developing a creative business proposal and in research.
We are lucky enough to have three teams from the University of Technology Sydney, University of New South Wales and Sydney University working on our project called Citizen Science – audience participation or source of free labour? By way of background to this question: we are finding that museums and other scientific organisations are increasingly turning to citizens to assist in a range of projects and scientific research efforts, in a collaborative process called “citizen science”. Yet, how much should organisations be reliant on this form of (usually free) labour? In order to address this question we have asked the teams to:
- Review what’s happening in the field
- Undertake a SWOT analysis of the uses of citizen science in museums and like institutions
- Identify up to four citizen science projects and write up as case examples
- Identify opportunities, options and resource implications for the ANMM in embarking on a citizen science project
We met with the students yesterday morning, introduced them to the museum and the project and took them on both a collections tour and general museum tour to get a sense of who we are and what we’re about.
A panel of three staff will judge their reports at the end of July and award the winner so we’ll post the results from the successful team then.