Citizen scientists

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All that computer power will still need a helping hand from our uniquely human expertise. Computers image via www.shutterstock.com

Beyond today’s crowdsourced science to tomorrow’s citizen science cyborgs

Computers are getting better and better at the jobs that previously made sense for researchers to outsource to citizen scientists. But don't worry: there's still a role for people in these projects.
Can a galaxy (like NGC 3810 in this case) have a classical spiral structure and also be already dead? ESA/Hubble and NASA

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

Extragalactic astrophysicists want to know how and why galaxies stop forming stars, change their shape and fade away. With help from citizen scientists, they're figuring it out.
Flint, Michigan residents couldn’t get answers about their water – so they did their own research. Laura Nawrocik

Can citizen science empower disenfranchised communities?

A new model of citizen-led science is emerging – as in the case of Flint, Michigan's poisoned water. Rather than simply supporting scientists, citizens ask their own questions and set the research agenda.
In the name of science…let’s play. sapromo

Addictive online games make citizen science a hit

A few days ago, I was an astrophysicist and contributed to a research project by organising sunspot images in order of complexity. After I’d had enough of that, I became a biochemist and worked late into…
Name an exoplanet, you don’t need to be a scientist for that. UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Explainer: what is citizen science?

Public participation in science is increasing, and citizen science has a central part in this. It is a contribution by the public to research, actively undertaken and requiring thoughtful action. Citizen…
A day out in woods, for science. GlacierNPS

Citizen science heading for world domination

People from all walks of life and all corners of the world are becoming scientists. Citizen science empowers those with an interest in any area from ecology to astronomy to be a part of the scientific…
A scientist training a volunteer on how to collect data on web-building spiders. John Gollan

Citizen science can produce reliable data

Citizen science occurs when data for scientific research is collected by members of the public in a voluntary capacity. Public participation in environmental projects, in particular, has been described…
Automated cameras and microphones will help better connect the public with life in the wild. Scott_Calleja

Ready for my closeup: camera traps bring home the wild

For 60 years Sir David Attenborough has brought the “extraordinary” of far off lands closer to home. In some aspects, Sir Dave has brought it so close that the only experiences you miss from not travelling…
A renewed interest in citizen science could help engage the wider public in research projects. Mount Rainier NPS

Citizen scientists are nothing new, and their value will only grow

Academic discussions of citizen science are all the rage right now (see here, and here, and here). While most describe the successes of individual projects, none (to my knowledge) have taken the long view…
Would you like to take “ownership” of a black swan? Catherine Payne

Citizen scientists, the black swan needs you

You may have heard that a male black swan was widowed by rock-throwing children in Melbourne recently. The event caused ripples of public concern, but also revealed how little we know about these iconic…

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