The Landscape of Citizen Science

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An overview of citizen science including the diversity of projects and people involved. Includes a nod towards the potential influence citizen scientists may have on policy matters .

An overview of citizen science including the diversity of projects and people involved. Includes a nod towards the potential influence citizen scientists may have on policy matters .

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  • 1.
    • Raise interest in/understanding of science.
    • Grow the ranks of citizen scientists.
    • Encourage citizen involvement in research projects and policy discussions.
    Goals
  • 2. Citizen Science
    • Citizen Microbiology Workshop
    • January 23-24, 1012
    • UC Davis Conference Center
    • Hosted by MicroBEnet
    • Darlene Cavalier
    • Darlene[at]scistarter[dot]com
    • www.scistarter.com
    • www.sciencecheerleader.com
    Please contact author for permission to repurpose content/images.
  • 3. “ Public is dumb.” Scientists are weary.
  • 4. CIVIC ADULT SCIENTIFIC LITERACY IN THE US, 1988 – 2005 [MILLER, J.D., 2007]
    • In 2005 U.S. Ranked Second only to Sweden in Civic Scientific Literacy
    • Civic Scientific Literacy in the U.S. , while still low, has tripled between 1988 and 2005.
  • 5. ENGAGEMENT
    • Little evidence exposure to information per se leads to either deeper understanding or an ability to incorporate scientific knowledge into better decision making.
    • Important to think about communication as a process of mutual interaction and a seeking of understanding, rather than simply as a means to transmit knowledge accurately to the public.
    • When science is not emotionally satisfying, it will fail to address deeper questions of identity and personal experience and will be rejected in favor of less reliable sources of information and advice.
    • -- Judith Ramaley, Science Literacy for the 21st Century
    • = Citizen Science!
  • 6.
    • Someone you know is a
    • CITIZEN SCIENTIST
    eBird 1.5 million reports Water testing 500,000 monitors SETI@ home 5 million volunteers
  • 7. Citizen science yields SERIOUS SCIENCE Provided data for dozens of peer-reviewed papers Discovered cocaine & hormones in Puget Sound drinking water Showed that birds migrate closer to poles due to global warming
  • 8. Recording colors of backyard snail shells to help determine if they’re changed with our warming climate. Building affordable satellites for missions in atmospheric physics to microgravity experiments. Analyzing wild algae species for their potential to produce biofuels.
  • 9. To find projects, citizen scientists have to search and search About 137,000 results
  • 10. Darlene Cavalier www.scistarter.com
  • 11. We are a website that connects regular people to real science they can do.
  • 12. Millions of people enjoy science & nature. Thousands of scientists need volunteers. But they can’t find each other .
  • 13. We connect them Scientist image and cit scientist images tk to illustrate “we connect them” We connect them
  • 14. Searchable database of projects. To make it easier for people to learn about and get involved in projects.
  • 15. “ When SciStarter promoted the Mastodon Matrix Project, we saw a 12% increase in website hits for museumoftheearth.org, which was huge for us - and we can track them directly from your website. And we found that people spent an average of about 3.5 minutes on the site! The biggest news is that Mastodon Matrix Project participation more than doubled , from about 2400 in 2010, to over 5500 in 2011 - and again, I can trace that increase directly to our presence on your website. Thank you so much for everything you do!” Cheers - Carlyn S. Buckler, Ph.D. Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850 Adj. Asst. Professor of Earth Sciences State University New York, Oneonta www.MuseumoftheEarth.org Cornell University Appears to be working.
  • 16. Who do you want involved? What motivates your participants to act?
  • 17. To advance fields of research?
  • 18. To connect/protect nature?
  • 19. Personal enrichment, satisfy curiosity
  • 20. To shape emerging fields?
  • 21. Money?
  • 22. Community/civic concerns?
  • 23. Community/civic concerns?
  • 24. Cheerleaders? (Pop Culture says it cool!.) The Science Cheerleaders are current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders pursuing science careers who playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire young girls to consider science careers AND mobilize fans to get involved in citizen science!
  • 25. How will you satisfy your volunteers?
  • 26. Clear, informative, welcoming… Messaging AND process. Too much Too little Information
  • 27. No need to reinvent the wheel, entirely. Methodologies, evaluations, data collection tools/sorting/sharing/visualizing, community building, educational outreach, publishing papers…how to sustain your project: Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology , NC State, Zooniverse, Ushahidi, Public Labs, Azavea, KickStarter, RocketHub… Federal agencies (NASA, NIH), data/support And more. Collaborate.
  • 28. “ Citizen science has helped democratize science and helped people to understand they can have an influence on science by being a part of it.” Rick Bonney, Cornell Lab of Ornithology More can be done!
  • 29. Citizen Scientists
  • 30. PUBLIC OPINION ABOUT SCIENTIFIC ISSUES
    • Science literacy only accounts for a small fraction of variance in how lay public form opinion about controversial issues of science.
    • Accurate communication and understanding of science cannot separate policy decisions from values, political contexts and necessary trade-offs between costs, benefits and risks.
    • [ Nisbet and Scheufele, 2009]
  • 31. Report emphasizes the need to incorporate citizen-participation methods to complement expert analysis. Decentralized expertise (tapping the knowledge of scientists across the nation) and citizen engagement Redefines technology assessment model New model (ECAST) provides opportunities to generate input from diverse public audience, while promoting societal discussions and public education.
  • 32. ECAST = EXPERT & CITIZEN ASSESSMENT OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY NETWORK Science Cheerleader Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars Arizona State University Boston Museum of Science Loka Institute.
  • 33. AN INSTITUTIONAL NETWORK MODEL Direct public interface Trusted public educators Innovation in citizen-friendly pedagogy Innovation in TA concepts/methods Research, analysis and evaluation Training of researchers/practitioners Policy relevance Interface with policy-makers Broad dissemination Science Museums Nonpartisan Policy Research Organizations Universities
  • 34.
    • “ Po licy formation without citizen participation is like faith and love without hope and charity. ”
    • Senator Edward Kennedy
  • 35.
    • Raise interest in/understanding of science.
    • Grow the ranks of citizen scientists.
    • Encourage citizen involvement in research projects and policy discussions.
    Goals
  • 36. By helping Americans rediscover , do , and shape science, we can mobilize one of the nation’s greatest resources to renew our country’s “love affair with science.”