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Open Labs: Collaborating to Beat Cancer

Good For Nothing

Friday, 18 May 2012 at 18:30 - Sunday, 20 May 2012 at 18:00 (BST)

Open Labs: Collaborating to Beat Cancer

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Technologists, coders, hackers - html 5, css, javascript, front-end web, mobile, gaming, social networking...
Ended Free  
User interface/digital designers, game designers, wireframers, graphic designers, illustrators, animators and editors
Ended Free  
Producers, copywriters, design thinkers, strategists, anthropologists - culture, gaming, social web, technology
Ended Free  
Citizen scientists
Cancer scientists, geneticists, pathologists, biologists - with interest in citizen science and technology
Ended Free  

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Event Details

Open Labs - Come and help Cancer Research UK to beat cancer

Imagine a world where 100,000s of people playing a simple game-based app on their smartphones or social networks or computers were at the same time analysing data and helping to beat cancer.

Think Citizens Science meets Angry Birds.

Together with Cancer Research UK and the Citizens Science Alliance, we’re delighted to be embarking on an ambitious collaborative Good for Nothing experiment – Open Labs – taking place at The Science Museum over the weekend of 18, 19, 20 May.


Our challenge is to develop a simple, but addictive app with game elements that would enable hundreds of thousands of supporters in the UK to help beat cancer...


We want to create something that when playing, will analyse real data, from real cancer patients, leading to real results and real breakthroughs in the development of personalised medicine. By analysing data faster, we can get knowledge to doctors faster, and they in turn can treat people more successfully. 

Put simply, playing this game really could save lives. 

Sir Paul Nurse, president of The Royal Society and the Nobel prize-winning British geneticist and cell biologist, is endorsing the project...

“This is a great opportunity to engage the wider public in the challenge to beat cancer. We have an excellent track record of inventiveness and scientific expertise in this country, and I am very excited to see how the citizen community can take this forward”

So what’s happened so far?

To kick things off, Cancer Research UK put out a call to their community of 4000+ research scientists for ideas with the potential to unlock genuine research bottlenecks and tackle meaningful research challenges 

2 different ideas have emerged as briefs for our challenge. Chris Lintott and his team who founded The Citizens Science Alliance are building working prototypes/APIs that will become the focus for a rapid 48 hour blast of collaborative developing, making and doing, 

He will be with us for the weekend to help bring the massive expertise and insight they’ve gained from the groundbreaking Galaxy Zoo, Planet Hunters and rapidly expanding family of Zooniverse projects.

What next?

We’re now seeking applications for up to 50 people to come and build something awesome over the weekend- a crew of thinkers, makers and doers.

We need all sorts of diverse experts from different disciplines - web developers, citizen scientists, Facebook developers, mobile developers, cancer scientists, anthropologists, game developers, digital UI/UE designers, animators, producers, strategists, communicators, gaming & social web experts....

There will be prizes, goodie bags, wanderings into The Science Museum, food, drinks, music, a live science demo and a chance to meet the pioneering team from the Citizens Science Alliance. For the teams who develop the most awesome creations, there will be also be an opportunity to stay involved in making them turn to reality and to visit one of the Cancer Research UK labs.

How will it work?

Friday 18th May 6.30pm – 8.30pm    

Kick-off briefing, setting the challenges, API demos and drinks

Saturday 19th May 9.00am – 6.00pm  

Making and doing

Sunday 20th May 9.30am – 6.00pm

Making and doing leading to a 5pm Show and Tell

More details to follow in the weeks leading up to the event...

We have limited spaces for this gig so register here and we’ll be in touch with the first batch of successful applicants to confirm your place by the 31st of April and the second batch by the 12th of May.

Are you up for being part of the Open Labs?

Do you have questions about Open Labs: Collaborating to Beat Cancer? Contact Good For Nothing
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When & Where

The Science Museum, London

SW7 2DD London
United Kingdom

Friday, 18 May 2012 at 18:30 - Sunday, 20 May 2012 at 18:00 (BST)

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Good For Nothing

Bringing smart folk together to do some Good for Nothing

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Open Labs: Collaborating to Beat Cancer
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