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View Full Version : Citizen science is real science!



MatthewRFrancis
2013-Feb-24, 02:12 PM
My Twitter feed was full of grumblage about an article yesterday, attacking the usefulness of citizen science. However, some of my friends and colleagues were fast to correct the record, and I thought the CQ community would dig it.

First, from Karen James (a biologist), whose job actually involves creating and managing citizen science projects: "What counts as 'citizen science'?"
http://kejames.com/2013/02/24/what-counts-as-citizen-science/

Second, from Chris Lintott (astronomer) on why citizen science projects need to be user-friendly
http://blog.zooniverse.org/2013/02/17/why-the-zooniverse-is-easy-to-use/

AstroRockHunter
2013-Feb-26, 10:40 PM
For my two cents.

We must remember that many of our earliest scientific discoveries were made by people who did not have formal training in the field and indeed had careers far removed from scientific study. These would qualify as 'citizen scientists'.

Gregor Mandel comes to mind. If not for this monk, we might not have genetics today.
Michael Faraday is another. He laid the ground work for James Clerk Maxwell's electro-magnetic theory.

Trust me. The list goes on.

Today, amateur astronomers aid in the data collection that helps push astronomy and cosmology forward. (I myself aided with some data collection for the Deep Impact project a few years ago)

I don't know about the other scientific disciplines, but I'm sure that 'citizen scientists' continue to make significant contributions.

snowcelt
2013-Dec-12, 10:39 AM
I have read that there are no answers coming from the established in cognitive theory. Many believe that those on the periphery are the only ones with the answers. Citizen scientists indeed.

litespeed
2014-Jan-04, 10:07 AM
Orville and Wilbur Wright are one the most outstanding citizen scientists !

NoisyAstronomer
2014-Jan-11, 08:53 PM
Our Moon Mappers PIs will have a paper coming out SOON showing that our citizen science results are on par with the "crater experts." Among other things... It's a HUGE paper, under 2nd review with the journal Icarus. You can bet we'll be sharing it all over the place once it gets final acceptance. Some talks/posters/blogs on the issue can be found at http://cosmoquest.org/Moon_Mappers:_Publications (That link may change soon as we switch from MediaWiki to Wordpress. Ping me if it doesn't work.)

Right Ascension
2014-Jan-15, 09:22 PM
I think citizen science may also serve as a catalyst in steering some in the direction of science that normally would not have pursued it.

NoisyAstronomer
2014-Jan-16, 08:02 PM
I think citizen science may also serve as a catalyst in steering some in the direction of science that normally would not have pursued it.

I certainly hope that is true. It does give students a chance to dive into something at an early stage in their education.