Real Science Online: Engaging the Public to Produce Expert-Quality Data

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Marriott Balcony A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Alexandra Swanson, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
As technology changes the way that we collect data, citizen science is changing the way we turn data into discovery.  Engaging volunteers to interpret large datasets that computers can’t easily process can expand the scope and scale of scientific research – allowing us to answer bigger, broader questions about the world around us. The Zooniverse citizen science platform engages 1.5 million volunteers around the world in this large-scale data interpretation – on projects that range from plankton to penguins, astronomy to archaeology, cancer research to Martian craters. In this symposium, I will discuss how the Zooniverse turns enormous volunteer effort into expert quality scientific data, using the successful Snapshot Serengeti ( as a case study, and describe our newly launched initiative that will let any research team do the same.