The science blogging community gathered (in person) at the increasingly popular Science Online 2010 conference in Durham, N.C. this past weekend where I was invited to chat about Adult Science Literacy, Science in the Media, and Citizen Science. I had the chance to unveil this beta version of Sci4cits to an enthusiastic reception from the science bloggers. They smiled, they tweeted, they blogged, and they provided lots of helpful suggestions. (We’re still seeking comments on this beta version and we’d love to hear from you.)
Some highlights from the session:
Science journalist Carl Zimmer substantiated the merits of citizen science and illustrated an example taking place in North Carolina…with dogs!
PLoS (Public Library of Science) biology editor Jonathan Eisen, who plans to launch a microbiology citizen science project, asked about unifying online data collection modules to enable researchers (and volunteers) to share information culled by citizen scientists. If you have ideas, let us know.
My co-presenters Scott Baker and Ben MacNeill shared their own experiences with citizen science projects:
Scott runs a Twitter-based reporting method to track fish catches. Now, through the wonder of Twitter, fishers log their catches and send the data to regulators–in real-time–using their cellphones.
Ben developed Trixie Tracker, a data tracking web and phone app that allows parents to tease out patterns in their children’s sleep activity. Someday in the not-so-distant future, this information may be used by doctors and other scientists studying corollary trends (it could even be mashed-up with data now available from data.gov). Maybe we’ll see a correlation between sleep habits and fish catches. 🙂
More reactions to the event can be found here, here and here.