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New research lab opened

On 30 November, the Norwegian Citizen Lab was opened at the University of Bergen. The lab is open for researchers who want to test public attitudes to important issues in society.

Professor Elisabeth Ivarsflaten at the opening of the Norwegian Citizen Lab on 30 November 2016.
SUCCESSFUL OPENING: Professor Elisabeth Ivarsflaten is the scientific leader of the Norwegian Citizen Panel and spoke at the opening of the Norwegian Citizen Lab.
Photo:
Solfrid Langeland, University of Bergen

“The goal of the Norwegian Citizen Lab is to make better use of the increasing digitization of society for research purposes,” says Professor Elisabeth Ivarsflaten from the Department of Comparative Politics at the University of Bergen (UiB).

Going below the surface

Professor Ivarsflaten launched the Norwegian Citizen Panel in 2012. Around 5,000 people participated in the first round of data collection. The Citizen Panel is a web-based survey of Norwegians’ opinions toward important societal matters. The lab is a physical space to perform interviews and experiments using data from the online panel.

“The advantage of the Norwegian Citizen Panel is that we can perform more in-depth interviews with the participants. We are witnessing a massive revolution in the social sciences in Bergen, where we can link the research done online with research in a physical lab. This means the research community can increase its knowledge on a number of societal issues,” says Professor Ivarsflaten excitedly.

First of its kind in Norway

The new research lab is a central part of UiB’s investment in infrastructure, the Digital Social Science Core (DIGSSCORE) project, see FACTS. This project includes both the Norwegian Citizen Lab and the Internet-based Norwegian Citizen Panel. Both the panel and the lab are run by researchers from UiB and the Rokkan Centre in Bergen.

The Norwegian Citizen Lab will be a shared facility for several interdisciplinary research fields, and will be used by researchers from the social sciences, humanities, law, and psychology. The lab is the first of its kind in Norway and is a contribution to the innovation and world-leading research in Bergen within the fields politics and social studies.