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Citizen Science Initiatives: Engaging the Public and Demystifying Science

    Authors: Kim Van Vliet1,*, Claybourne Moore1
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    Affiliations: 1: St. Johns River State College, Palatka, FL 32177
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: St. Johns River State College, 5001 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka, Florida 32177. Phone: 352-281-4240. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 13-16. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1019
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    Abstract:

    The Internet and smart phone technologies have opened up new avenues for collaboration among scientists around the world. These technologies have also expanded citizen science opportunities and public participation in scientific research (PPSR). Here we discuss citizen science, what it is, who does it, and the variety of projects and methods used to increase scientific knowledge and scientific literacy. We describe a number of different types of citizen-science projects. These greatly increase the number of people involved, helping to speed the pace of data analysis and allowing science to advance more rapidly. As a result of the numerous advantages of citizen-science projects, these opportunities are likely to expand in the future and increase the rate of novel discoveries.

Key Concept Ranking

Natural Environment
0.7239332
Soil
0.59640163
Protein Folding
0.5097281
Water
0.47244903
Carbon Cycle
0.45273107
0.7239332

References & Citations

1. Bonney R, et al 2009 Public participation in scientific research: defining the field and assessing its potential for informal science education A CAISE Inquiry Group Report Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) Washington, DC
2. Bonney R, et al 2009 Citizen science: a developing tool for expanding science knowledge and scientific literacy BioScience 59 11 977 984 10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.9 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/bio.2009.59.11.9
3. Cooper S, Khatib F, Baker D 2013 Increasing public involvement in structural biology Structure 21 9 1482 1484 10.1016/j.str.2013.08.009 24010706 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2013.08.009
4. Cooper S, et al the Foldit Players 2010 Predicting protein structures with a multiplayer online game Nature 466 7307 756 760 10.1038/nature09304 20686574 2956414 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature09304
5. Core A, et al 2012 A new threat to honey bees, the parasitic phorid fly Apocephalus borealis PLoS ONE 7 1 e29639 10.1371/journal.pone.0029639 22235317 3250467 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029639
6. Havens K, Henderson S 2013 Citizen science takes root American Scientist 100 5 378 385 10.1511/2013.104.378 http://dx.doi.org/10.1511/2013.104.378
7. Khatib F, et al the Foldit Players 2011 Algorithm discovery by protein folding game players Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108 47 18949 18953 10.1073/pnas.1115898108 22065763 3223433 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1115898108
8. Khatib F, et al 2011 Crystal structure of a monomeric retroviral protease solved by protein folding game players Nat Struct Mol Biol 18 10 1175 1177 10.1038/nsmb.2119 21926992 3705907 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.2119
9. Khoury GA, et al the Foldit Players 2014 Proteins. WeFold: a competition for protein structure prediction Proteins 82 9 1850 1868 10.1002/prot.24538 24677212 4249725 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prot.24538
10. Kim JS, et al The EyeWirers 2014 Space-time wiring specificity supports direction selectivity in the retina Nature 509 331 336 10.1038/nature13240 24805243 4074887 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13240
11. Kwak D, et al 2013 Open-Phylo: a customizable crowd-computing platform for multiple sequence alignment Genome Biol 14 10 R116 10.1186/gb-2013-14-10-r116 24148814 4014878 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/gb-2013-14-10-r116
12. Marx V 2013 Neuroscience waves to the crowd Nature Methods 10 1069 1074 10.1038/nmeth.2695 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2695
13. Shirk JL, et al 2012 Public participation in scientific research: a framework for deliberate design Ecol Soc 17 2 29
14. Wood C, Sullivan B, Iliff M, Fink D, Kelling S 2011 eBird: engaging birders in science and conservation PLoS Biol 9 12 e1001220 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001220 22205876 3243722 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001220

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2016-03-01
2019-10-20

Abstract:

The Internet and smart phone technologies have opened up new avenues for collaboration among scientists around the world. These technologies have also expanded citizen science opportunities and public participation in scientific research (PPSR). Here we discuss citizen science, what it is, who does it, and the variety of projects and methods used to increase scientific knowledge and scientific literacy. We describe a number of different types of citizen-science projects. These greatly increase the number of people involved, helping to speed the pace of data analysis and allowing science to advance more rapidly. As a result of the numerous advantages of citizen-science projects, these opportunities are likely to expand in the future and increase the rate of novel discoveries.

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