Code for Science

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.

Carl Sagan, ” Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space”

Project Description

The “Code for Science” is an umbrella project encompassing a multitude of research activities with an underlying core idea: involvement of general public to contribute to scientific endeavors by contributing to the computer coding necessary for an efficient, state-of-the-art research work.

Modern science heavily relies on computational and visualisation tools, databases and their analysis, networking — all made possible by computer codes. This trend is expected only to get stronger with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques.

The codes used in research are either designed by scientists themselves or ones that are available open source or purchased on the market. All of the above cases bring significant costs: in time, in suitability & performance or in funds.

At the same time a growing number of people all over the world have or is starting to acquire practical skills in computer coding. These citizens come from unusual places: a high school student with the ability to code exceeding one of established researchers or a young or retired professional with passion towards science and willingness to put into good use their technical experience. One should stress that in the computer science and coding world at large there is a vibrant culture of sharing knowledge and contributing to other people’s work.


The goal of „Code for Science” is to harness this potential and boost scientific research, while at the same time engaging broader communities in science.

We are creating a platform and proposing a number of sub-projects that aim at bringing together scientists in need of IT solutions with interested members of the general public.

In return, citizens, including interested high school/university students can learn about research and gain invaluable experience in practical applications of coding on actual research.


There are three categories of tasks:

Basic Tasks

a short and simple piece of code that performs just one task, which might be useful primarily to low computational involved scientific projects with not much of an expertise in coding, e.g. in humanities or social sciences

Intermediate Tasks

mid-size contributions, e.g. unburdening scientists from performing time consuming coding needed for part of their projects

Drake Project
Doc 1
Doc 2

Advanced Tasks

longer collaborations that might end up with the participating citizen(s) co-authoring the final publication.

Additionally you can find some example types of tasks that we can help match researchers and citizens with: 

  • text parsing code for literature search or text analysis (e.g. in humanities)
  • creating a tailored structure for a database (e.g. in fields with significant data creation)
  • developing an app for surveys and/or tests (e.g. in social sciences)
  • coding a numerical function performing specific tasks, e.g. numerical integration tailored for given use, in a specific language that can be linked with the rest of the project (e.g. in various STEM fields)
  • training a neural network for experiment data analysis (in all data intensive fields)


Beyond UNIVERSEH has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101035795.