Citizen Science from the Zooniverse: Cutting-Edge Research with 1 Million Scientists

Friday, 13 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21C (San Jose Convention Center)
Citizen science (CS) involves public participation and engagement in scientific research in a way that makes it possible to perform tasks that a small number of researchers could not accomplish alone, makes the research more democratic, and potentially educates the participants. Volunteers simply need access to a computer or tablet to become involved and assist research activities. The presence of massive online datasets and the availability of high-speed internet access provide many opportunities for citizen scientists to work on projects analyzing and interpreting data -- especially images -- in astronomy, biology, climate science, and other fields. The growing phenomenon of CS has drawn the interest of social scientists who study the efficacy of CS projects, motivations of participants, and applications to industry and policymaking. CS clearly has considerable potential in the era of big data. Galaxy Zoo is an example of a successful CS project; it invites volunteers to visually classify the shapes and structures of galaxies seen in images from optical surveys. The project resulted in catalogs of hundreds of thousands of classified galaxies, allowing for novel statistical analyses and the identification of rare objects. Its popularity led to the Zooniverse, a suite of projects in a diverse and interdisciplinary range of fields. This symposium will demonstrate how CS is becoming a vital tool and highlight the work of a variety of researchers.
Ramin A. Skibba, University of California
Brooke Simmons, University of Oxford
The Scientific Impact of Galaxy Zoo
Alexandra Swanson, University of Minnesota
Photographing Carnivores with Snapshot Serengeti
Paul Pharoah, University of Cambridge
Contributing to Cancer Research with Cell Slider
Philip Marshall, Stanford University
Using Space Warps To Find Gravitational Lenses
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