Citizen Science overview for ASU HSD598 graduate course, "Citizen Science"


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This is a citizen science overview particularly aimed at graduate students enrolled in a new course at Arizona State University, aptly titled "Citizen Science." The author of this presentation, and course instructor, Darlene Cavalier, will talk students through its nuances and intersections with science, technology, and society.

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  • Really interesting Darlene, thanks !

    ​Given your interest, I think that you (and the other readers here) would be really interested in some recent research that I have come across that theorizes about crowds and such similar phenomena.​ ​

    It’s called “The Theory of Crowd Capital” and you can download it here if you’re interested:

    In my view it provides a powerful, yet simple model, getting to the heart of the matter. Enjoy!
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Citizen Science overview for ASU HSD598 graduate course, "Citizen Science"

  1. 1. “Public is dumb.” Scientists are skeptical.QuickTime™ and aYUV420 codec decompressorare needed to see this picture.YouTube video:
  2. 2. International comparison:American adults rank 2ndin civic science literacy.Professor Jon Miller (U of MI).
  3. 3. CIVIC SCIENTIFIC LITERACY IN THEUS, 1988 – 2005[MILLER, J.D., 2007]010203040506070809010087 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006YearPercent CSL In 2005 U.S. Ranked Second only toSweden in Civic Scientific Literacy Civic Scientific Literacy in the U.S. ,while still low, has tripled between1988 and 2005.More can be done.
  4. 4. COMMUNICATION +ENGAGEMENT Little evidence exposure to information per se leads toeither deeper understanding or an ability toincorporate scientific knowledge into better decisionmaking. Important to think about communication as a processof mutual interaction and a seeking of understanding,rather than simply as a means to transmit knowledgeaccurately to the public. When science is not emotionally satisfying, itwill fail to address deeper questions of identityand personal experience and will be rejected infavor of less reliable sources of information andadvice.-- Judith Ramaley, Science Literacy for the 21st CenturyMore can be done.
  5. 5. To find projects, citizen scientistshave to search and searchAbout 137,000 results
  6. 6. Darlene
  7. 7. We are a websitethat connectsregular peopletoreal sciencethey can do.
  8. 8. Millions of peopleenjoyscience & nature.Thousands ofscientists needvolunteers.But they can’t findeach other.
  9. 9. WeconnectthemScientist imageand cit scientistimages tk toillustrate “weconnect them”Weconnectthem
  10. 10. Someone you know is aCITIZEN SCIENTISTeBird1.5 millionreportsWater testing1.5 millionmonitorsSETI@ home5 millionvolunteers
  11. 11. Acceleratinganalysis oftumor samplesin hugedatasets.Forecastingsolar activitythat posesradiation risksto humans andhardware inspace. (NASAcrowdsourcing)Analyzing wildalgae speciesfor theirpotential toproducebiofuels.Citizen Science IS Serious Science.
  12. 12. Citizen Microbiology Projects
  13. 13. Searchable database of projects.To make it easier for people to learn about and get involved in projects.To make it easier for people to learn about and get involved in projects.
  14. 14. We helpprojectorganizersreach people.Partner up!Crowdsourcethecrowdsourcing.
  15. 15. University of Waterloo’s Snow Tweetsgoal Help researchers calibrate accuracy of snow measurement toolstask Measure snow where you are, tweet or upload your geotagged dataTripled three-year participation rate in one season.
  16. 16. What motivatesmotivates participants to act?
  17. 17. To advance fields of research.
  18. 18. To connect/protect nature.To connect/protect nature.
  19. 19. Personal enrichment, satisfy curiosity.Personal enrichment, satisfy curiosity.
  20. 20. To shape emerging fields.To shape emerging fields.
  21. 21. Money.Money.
  22. 22. Community/civic concerns.Community/civic concerns.
  23. 23. Community/civic concerns.Community/civic concerns.
  24. 24. “Each image you will see is a tiny tumour sample from a huge dataset. Help ourscientists to accelerate the analysis of this data by identifying the coloured sectionsof the image using our prompts, and bring forward the cures for cancers.”Help cure cancer.Help cure cancer.
  25. 25. Help cure cancer.Help cure cancer.
  26. 26. Set a Guinness World Record!.
  27. 27. Big Cheer for Science!Monitor earthquakes forUnited States Geological Survey
  28. 28. QuickTime™ and aH.264 decompressorare needed to see this picture.YouTube link:
  29. 29. Boys, too!
  30. 30. National Partnership with Pop Warner Little ScholarsMentorships (in person and via Skype)Science Festival appearancesCitizen Science introductionsScience of Cheerleading appPI s new citizen science research projectsWe are 250 members strong….and growingThe Science Cheerleaders reach NEW audiences.
  31. 31.
  32. 32. Common sectorsResearch question, community concernParticipation/ engagementIncentives , motivationsAppropriate technologyCertifications/ qualificationsQuality of dataPrivacy/ownership of dataPolicy implications
  33. 33. Resources:Human cognition/analysis platforms: PyBossa/Crowdcraft,CosmoQuest, ZooniverseSample collection: SciStarter, others working with the people orsurfaces/bodies you want to reach (consider partnering up withother citsci project organizers).Sampling protocols, consent forms, etc: MicroBEnet, Your WildLifeCrowdfunding: uBiomeReferences, links to other practitioners, more tools:
  34. 34. “Citizen science has helped democratize scienceand helped people to understand they can havean influence on science by being a part of it.”Rick Bonney, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  35. 35. From citizen science to citizen policy.Hey! Hey! What do you say?Let’s bring back the OTA!*(With citizen input!)*The now defunct Congressional Office of Technology Assessment
  36. 36. From citizen science to citizen policy.Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology. Distributed network to create/evaluate mechanism toinform public and solicit input in matters of sci/tech policy.Founding Partners:Arizona State UniversityBoston Museum of ScienceLoka InstituteScience Cheerleader/ SciStarterUMass AmherstWoodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
  37. 37. From citizen science to citizen policy.Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology.http://ecastnetwork.wordpress.comPilot project in four locations.Dissemination of white paper to Congress; public release of outcomes atWilson Center event.Active workshops and meetings to align process with GAO and otherCongressional support agencies.Designed to complement expert analysis.Report about participatory technology assessment (pTA) prepared by ECASTmembers. Primary motivation is to articulate the role that a network likeECAST might play in conducting and institutionalizing pTA in the U.S.Mobilize an informed populace to tell us what science cannot.
  38. 38. By helping people rediscover, do, andshape STEM, we can mobilize one of theour greatest resources.It’s never too late.