Science seeks to harness the brain power of the human population with citizen science projects. Utilizing the internet, research groups have gamified research for the scientifically curious citizen to help play a role in the advancement of science. Online programs have been designed to catalog craters on the moon, search for asteroids headed towards earth and identify the creatures of our seas.
Is the average citizen a reliable souce for scientific analysis?
Clearly, the every day citizen isn’t the prefered source for scientific data analysis but there are only so many graduate students to go around. Because of this, some studies have turned to the average joe to lend a hand. Lucky for researchers, those who actually do get involved are typically scientifically literate and passionate about contributing. However, spotting a crater in a picture of the moon is not a task that requires a PhD. in astronomy. Thus the largest obstacle for these studies would more likely be the occasional internet troll rather than the education level of their average contributor.
Ideally, this emergence of citizen science signals an exciting resurgence of science into everyday life. The global mind is an incredibly powerful tool for science to harness. There is definitely room for improvement but these programs are the first to tap into the enormous potential of humanity that has been linked with the advent of the internet. It is easy to imagine a gaming community with profiles, achievements, and more captivating gameplay that can further tap into the potential of the human network in scientific ventures. And so, here is a list of the citizen science projects that DEEPS believes is striving to do exactly that. Enjoy!
The DEEP’S recommended citizen science projects:
1. Spacewarps – Scan images of the universe for elusive and unique celestial bodies. Be the first to discover a comet or scientific anomaly.
2. Digital Fishers – Watch video from the deep-sea adventures of robotic submersibles for sightings of strange creatures.
3. Aurorasaurous – Help notify scientists and fellow aurora watches of positive aurora sightings or a real-time global map.
4. Worm Watch Lab – Observe behavior of nematode worms as video is brought to you straight from research facilities that are performing genetic experiments.
5. Moon Mappers– Scan the surface of the Moon to identify craters and aid researchers in obtaining valuable information about the geography of our natural satellite. Maybe your info will help determine the site of the first Moon base!
6. Ancient Lives – Dive into the papyrus history of ancient cultures. Help transcribe and identify these texts with their unique program.
7. Solar Storm Watch – Solar storms and flares are constantly occuring on the sun. Scientists need help observing the sun for solar storms and avoid damage from dangerous coronal mass ejections and solar radiation.
8. Seti@Home – Download the Seti program and your computer will be used during its idle time to search for patterns in incoming cosmic radio waves for extraterestrial life.
Honorable mention: Zooniverse – Is an online site that founded many of these projects.