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Monday, September 17, 2012
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Citizen Science 101: What Every Researcher Should Know About Crowdsourcing Science

Andrea Wiggins
Postdoctoral Fellow with DataONE, affiliated with the University of New Mexico and Cornell University and based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Citizen science is a form of collaboration involving professional scientists and members of the public in doing real-world research. Although this type of work has been practiced for centuries, citizen science has seen explosive growth in recent years. There are now a wide variety of forms of public participation in scientific research, particularly for data collection and processing tasks. In some cases, citizen science is the only feasible approach to both answering research questions and acquiring crucial data for decision-making and policy. In the last decade, information technologies have played a critical role in increasing the visibility, scope, and scale of citizen science, essentially enabling researchers to crowdsource scientific work. The world's largest biodiversity dataset is comprised of data from hobbyists; the National Weather Service relies on citizen science data for forecasting and modeling; the USGS uses contributed data for earthquake detection; and Hubble Telescope time has been awarded to study discoveries made by members of the public. These are just a few examples of the many ways that public participation is changing the face of scientific research, and new projects are emerging every day. This talk will introduce citizen science, discuss the dominant types of public engagement, dispel common myths, and highlight future directions for the development of public participation in scientific research.

Host: Reid Priedorsky, D-4: ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE ANALYSIS, 665-7816