What makes a good citizen science project–for you?

asp logoCan I pick your brain for a minute?

Next week I’m going to be part of a panel discussion on the topic of citizen science. It’s part of a joint conference of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the Geological Society of America titled “Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach.” To fuel that discussion I’d like to get your opinion on what makes a citizen science project successful for you, the participant.

If you’ve taken part in a project—or even if you’re just considering it—please share your thoughts by adding a comment here at the bottom of this post. I plan to refer to selected comments during the panel discussion. As an added nudge, I’ll award a free t-shirt to the authors of the three comments I deem to be most helpful and illuminating.

Many of the folks attending this conference are the scientists who actually dream up and design citizen science projects—so here’s your chance to influence their thinking and help shape new activities that you can take part in.

Please let me know what factors determine whether a project was (or would be) an effective and successful experience for you. In addition to your general thoughts, I’d like to know in particular:

  • How important is it that you increase your own scientific knowledge as part of the project?
  • How important is it that you contribute to scientific knowledge?
  • Is it important to you that you do more than collect data (for instance, help analyze the data, help design the project, help disseminate the findings)?

Looking forward to your feedback.

By the way, if you’re in Boulder next week (that’s where the conference is) and want to chat about citizen science, just let me know. It would be great to connect.

Categories: Astronomy & Space, Citizen Science, Geology & Earth Sciences