"ALRAUNE – Tracing allergies" investigates the development of allergies.

allergies, lifestyle, environment

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: independent of location
Used Devices: with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: computer with internet or smartphone
Activities of citizen scientists: sharing ideas, testing online, analysing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.12.2014 - 31.12.2016
Time to join in: 01.05.2016 - 30.06.2016
Expenditure of time: 15 – 30 minutes

Project objective

More and more people are suffering from allergies. Approximately 30 % of the population of industrialised countries react allergic to pollen, animal hair or house dust mites. The reasons for this increase of allergic diseases are still partly unknown. Therefore “ALRAUNE – Tracing allergies“ investigates the connection of lifestyle and environmental factors and the development of allergies.

To shed light on this mystery, ALRAUNE wanted to interview allergic and non-allergic persons about their nutrition, smoking behaviour, etc. Based on these data ALRAUNE was able to investigate, if for example frequent smoking promotes the development of an allergy.

How did citizen scientists participate?

In order to collect the required data, an online questionnaire dealing with allergy & lifestyle was designed with the help of citizen scientists in 2015. To obtain a valid questionnaire it was particularly important that all questions were simple and easy to answer. In May and June 2016 citizen scientists were invited to support the research by testing the online questionnaire.

What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?

The results were carefully evaluated by the project team. Furthermore, they were discussed during a workshop and in a next step the final questionnaire was developed. It will help to collect extensive information about allergic diseases and their possible causes.

Prizes and winners

During the Citizen Science Award 2016 the group of citizen scientists with the highest amount of points won. Points were given for high quality comments that were made on the questionnaire. Valid contributions were evaluated from May to June. The two winning school classes with the highest number of points won 1,000 Euro each for their class fund. The winning group of citizen scientists (not a school class) received a special prize and the chance to additionally support research.

Participating and supporting institutions


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