Research on Foldit and Citizen Science: Interview request for developers and volunteers

Started by mrshankey

mrshankey Lv 1

Dear Foldit players and developers,

as a graduate student of "Web Science" at the Technical University of Cologne (TH Köln), I chose to write my master's thesis (in English) on the topic of citizen science and online collaboration. The title of my thesis is: "We Are Scientists": Towards a Community Platform Supporting Collaboration and Participation for Citizen Science, and my research will focus especially on Foldit's experiences, best-practices and gamification elements and derive a conceptual approach for generally improving online collaboration, participation and scientific outcome in citizen science projects.

As I also plan qualitative interviews with developers and volunteers, I would like to ask you if you could spare some time for helping me with my research. I would especially be interested to talk to you about your opinion and experiences on participating and contributing to science. My hypothesis is that Foldit does this job quite well, already, but, there might still be room for improvements ;)

If you are interested (as player or developer), please pm me for further arrangements. The interviews should take place between 14 Nov and 2 Dec and would last approx. 10-15 minutes. I would prefer to use Skype, but Email would also be possible. To say thank you, I would, of course, send you a copy of my finished thesis!

BTW, some people here might still know me - as a journalist. I first became interested in Foldit in 2012, when I worked as a science journalist on a German radio feature about Foldit - including interviews with madde, mimi, David Baker and Firas Khatib (you can still find it here:–1242.html , starting at 18:35min). Ever since then, the topic of citizen science and Foldit's success story fascinates me - which is why I chose this topic now for my thesis (btw, in addition to studying, I still work as a journalist mainly)!

So far, Seth Cooper and Bruno (Kestemont) already kindly agreed to take part in interviews, and I would be very grateful if more developers and/or volunteers would offer to let me interview them. If you wish, you could, of course, stay anonymously.

In any case, thank you very much in advance and best regards

update: there was a comma misplaced in the link for the audio. Sorry. The link to my Foldit feature should be working now.

Skippysk8s Lv 1

I am not as advanced a player as Bruno, but would be happy to "speak" via IRC chat or e-mail. If you have IRC, we can use the PM (private message) mode so you could ask whatever you'd like. I don't have Skype installed on my ancient computer as it has no camera. Alternatively, we could use Whatsapp, though I'd prefer to use my screen nickname and not my personal name. It would be best if we set up time ahead

I go by Skippysk8sIRC on IRC chat room