What’s the big deal with citizen scientists?

This article, written by George Grattan at the EarthWatch Institute (where volunteers are paired with scientists to improve the world’s environment) nicely sums up the value of citizen scientists from multiple perspectives.

” Without a strong commitment to the idea that everyday people can help conduct quality science in the field—and that by doing so they get both the inspiration and the tools necessary to take action on behalf of the environment in their own communities—we’d have packed up our pipettes and gone home long ago. We’ve got more than just a commitment, though; we’ve got our data on how Citizen Science works to advance the state of scientific inquiry—quite simply, by allowing researchers to do more of it.”

Full article here.

  • jim

    I want to go on an Earthwatch adventure and help to protect the coral reefs. I think it’s expensive. Darn economy.

  • jim

    I want to go on an Earthwatch adventure and help to protect the coral reefs. I think it’s expensive. Darn economy.

  • Turtle rescue sounds more my speed…used to live in Florida anyway.

  • Turtle rescue sounds more my speed…used to live in Florida anyway.

  • John Wilkes

    I have been really surprised how few people know of the plan to return to the Moon in 2020 and build a base there- and how many other countries are planning to be landing on the Moon with people or robots by 2025.

    Even fewer people seem to know the significance of finding Helium-3 (and oxygen) in the regolith ( dust) on the moon and there being no Helium-3 naturally on Earth. This is the fuel of the Sun, the perfect fusion reactor fuel, deposited on the Moon due to the absence of atmosphere there.

    A fusion breakthrough on Earth and the existence of a Lunar base means a whole new energy economy.

    I wonder if a Citizen effort to build a mockup exhibit of a mature Lunar Base Mining camp circa 2050 would be worth putting up as an educational exhibit? NASA does not want the job of developing the Moon, but rather wants to get to Mars first, so this will have to be a job for private enterprise if the USA is to develop Luna Corp in time to compete with China, Russia and India for this emerging sector of the economy. That means voters, investors and employees need to figure out what is going on quite soon. A science education venture for secondary school students to increase what they know about this issue would werve to clue in the critical new voters and job hunters entering he political and economic world between 2020- 2030. that is when NASA will be slowly builidng a lunar base with 2 missions to the Moon each year. These new actors are in grades 4-9 at the moment. What their parents say about the possibilities in the space industry will make a large difference in how ready they will be to lead the nation into a new age of discovery then.

  • John Wilkes

    I have been really surprised how few people know of the plan to return to the Moon in 2020 and build a base there- and how many other countries are planning to be landing on the Moon with people or robots by 2025.

    Even fewer people seem to know the significance of finding Helium-3 (and oxygen) in the regolith ( dust) on the moon and there being no Helium-3 naturally on Earth. This is the fuel of the Sun, the perfect fusion reactor fuel, deposited on the Moon due to the absence of atmosphere there.

    A fusion breakthrough on Earth and the existence of a Lunar base means a whole new energy economy.

    I wonder if a Citizen effort to build a mockup exhibit of a mature Lunar Base Mining camp circa 2050 would be worth putting up as an educational exhibit? NASA does not want the job of developing the Moon, but rather wants to get to Mars first, so this will have to be a job for private enterprise if the USA is to develop Luna Corp in time to compete with China, Russia and India for this emerging sector of the economy. That means voters, investors and employees need to figure out what is going on quite soon. A science education venture for secondary school students to increase what they know about this issue would werve to clue in the critical new voters and job hunters entering he political and economic world between 2020- 2030. that is when NASA will be slowly builidng a lunar base with 2 missions to the Moon each year. These new actors are in grades 4-9 at the moment. What their parents say about the possibilities in the space industry will make a large difference in how ready they will be to lead the nation into a new age of discovery then.