How can an academic research organization engage a broader public in its work? How can it provoke the common man to buy in to its research process?
Academics need to ask focused questions about which they can gain some insight from the hidden analysts in the general public. Discussion boards that allow for ratings, such as the Obama online discussion about health care, provide for the rise to prominence of the strongest ideas and critiques. Researchers can learn from these and can create a sense of investment by demonstrating that they are doing so.
Ultimately, grants will be written so that data is shared with the public even as analysis is ongoing. If someone else can do a better analysis of ‘my’ data, so much the better for society. If someone can correct my errors before I write up my work, so much the better for me.