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Humanity Plus Presentation,


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Darlene Cavalier presented this at the Humanity Plus Summit at Harvard on 6/12/10. Citizen Science: overview, demographics, news.

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Humanity Plus Presentation,

  1. 1. Disrupting Science! (in a good way) Humanity + Summit @ Harvard: Rise of the Citizen Scientist Darlene Cavalier Science For Citizens http: //scienceforcitizens .net
  2. 2. Common Misconception (among scientists)
  3. 3. What is a Citizen Scientist?
  4. 4. Who are Citizen Scientists? <ul><li>50 million+ worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>46% surveyed*, hold graduate degrees (national avg is 9.9%**) </li></ul><ul><li>Highly educated, affluent, active users of the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>*2009 Brownstein/Science Cheerleader survey of 150 active citizen scientists </li></ul><ul><li>**U.S. Department of Education, 2009-2010 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who are Citizen Scientists? MOST CITIZEN SCIENTISTS ARE GEN JONERS: who have an “aching to act.”
  6. 6. Why volunteer for science? <ul><li>To help safeguard or improve the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>To learn more about a subject I’m interested in. </li></ul><ul><li>To generally expand my knowledge, broaden my mind. </li></ul><ul><li>To help improve my community. </li></ul><ul><li>To help advance science. </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen scientists don ’t do scientific research for a living; they practice science for personal satisfaction. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Online data analysis citizen scientists Demographics: avg age 43 yrs old; 80/20 men/women; 28% hold Masters degree+; 29% hold Bachelors #1 reason these 250,000+ people volunteer to sort through images of galaxies? “ To contribute to research.” Source: Jordan Raddick (JHU), Galaxy Zoo survey: “Why do people become citizen scientists?”
  8. 8. Why now? Internet makes it easy to obtain and share information Instrumentation is cheaper, more accessible Mobile smart phones: GPS, digital photography, microscopes, sensors Open data
  9. 9. Impact? Peer reviewed papers Discoveries: Amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley, discovered a hole in Jupiter’s atmosphere, the size of the Earth! At least three citizen scientists played key roles in what has become known as Climategate. Six-year-old Alyson Yates and her mom, Kate, discovered a rare nine-spotted ladybug while taking part in Cornell University’s Lost Ladybug citizen science project. By running DNA tests, teenagers in NYC found a new breed of cockroach and discovered food labels lie.
  10. 10. Impact? White House Increasing number of published papers Field of academic study Policy: Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology Public Understanding of Science
  11. 11. Buzz The NY Academy of Sciences: The Growth of Citizen Science The New York Times: A New Kind of Big Science O’Reilly Report: Citizen Science and Urban Sensing TreeHugger: The Big Deal with Citizen Science Citizen Science benefits to children Seed Magazine: Creating Citizen Scientists CNN Citizen Science and Climate Change And many more.
  12. 12. What we do <ul><li>We enable regular folks to tap their inner scientists and improve the world. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The problem <ul><li>Millions of people eager to explore science and nature can’t find the thousands of research activities they could be participating in. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Our solution: the Project Finder <ul><li>Fireflies, oil spills, the moon, your local river… </li></ul><ul><li>Yup, our database has a project for that. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Harnessing the power of America’s greatest resource, to improve our world.