Friday, September 2, 2016

In the News: Citizen science at the forefront

Fig.1. Citizen volunteers learn about Mississippi River fish species. (Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

Investigating and understanding the world around us has always sparked the curiosity of scientists and non-scientists alike. Luckily, these days you don’t need to have a degree in science to contribute to research in nearly every discipline. Many programs have been developed to capture the wonder and data at the fingertips of citizens - and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down.
  • #BugsR4Girls, too. Last week, members of the scientific community joined that conversation after hearing from a young girl’s mom about her daughter’s experience being bullied for loving all things insects. #BugsR4Girls goes viral after Ontario girl teased for fascination with bugs, The London Free Press (August 28, 2016)
  • Some of the most extraordinary ideas come from ordinary people. Earlier this month, the San Diego Natural History Museum unveiled a new collection and exhibition, “Extraordinary Ideas From Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science,” featuring books, maps and more from the world of citizen science. Due respect for ‘Citizen Science,’ The San Diego Union-Tribune, (August 25, 2016)
  • Personalized pollen data is the next best thing in research for allergy sufferers. An Austrian company allows users to track data on a website and app in order to best detect allergies before they come around. ‘Citizen science’ pollen monitoring service, Phys.org (August 24, 2016)
  • Chances of discovery are all around you. The United States Department of Agriculture makes the case why you -- yes, you! -- can get involved in citizen science endeavors. Citizen Science is Sound Science Provided by You, USDA.org (August 19, 2016)
  • Urban planners are also jumping on the citizen science bandwagon. Some cities find the importance of user-generated information. Integrating user-collected data in city planning, Phys.org (August 29, 2016)

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