Want to Help Shape the Future? Get Involved With Science—No Ph.D. Required. (Slate.com)

By Darlene Cavalier September 6th, 2017 at 9:24 am | Comment

Here’s an excerpt from a piece I coauthored with Jay Lloyd, my colleague at Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

D. CAVALIER & J. LLOYD
Want to Help Shape the Future? Get Involved With Science—No Ph.D. Required.

Imagining what the world will be like in a decade or two can feel like flipping through a catalog of dystopian visions rooted in today’s dismaying headlines. Will smartphones make our children depressed and lonely? Are we on the brink of making the world nearly uninhabitable for humans? Will hacking and cyberterrorism lead to real-world warfare? Can bioterrorists use precision gene-editing to kill millions of people? Will technological innovations produce mass unemployment?

That many of these anxieties are connected to scientific advances and technological breakthroughs is no coincidence. The forces of science and technology that drive large parts of today’s economy catalyze vast social changes. Innovations emerge from corporations, universities, and laboratories that are remote from most people’s everyday experiences. Understanding them often requires specialized knowledge and training. And while these innovations can be enormously beneficial, they often come with tradeoffs. For example, social media platforms offer greater connectedness, but they can also allow information to be weaponized as a tool of asymmetric warfare.

 It can sometimes feel like professional researchers and technologists are pushing us into a future that may not be one we envision for ourselves and our communities. Technological innovation can feel more like a natural disaster than the result of human decisions if youstruggle to make a living or deal with toxic electronics waste. We fear losing control, ceding our agency to algorithms and tech companies and research scientists.
One way to help alleviate some of the concerns is greater public involvement in scientific research and technological innovation—no Ph.D. required.  Read the full article here.

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The Sky is Falling! Or is It?

By Guest August 29th, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Comment

By Dolores Hill and Carl Hergenrother, Target Asteroids! Co-Leads Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Today’s amateur astronomers carry on long held traditions in citizen science by making valuable contributions in data collection and monitoring celestial objects of all kinds. They supplement work done by professional astronomers and fill gaps in our knowledge. Imagine being a modern-day Tycho Brahe who, in the late-1500s, measured positions of stars that were so accurate and reliable that Johannes Kepler used them to determine that the planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits! Imagine contributing to an asteroid data repository and assisting future space travelers; both robotic and human. Read the rest of this entry »

Sit, Shake, Citizen Science!

By Sarah Newman August 24th, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Comment

U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Christopher Griffin

 

If you have a cat or dog at home, chances are they love spending time with you. Now you have one more way to show them your love – with citizen science, just in time for National Dog Day on August 26! Below, we highlight projects you can do at home with your four-legged friends. Try them out and let us know what you think! Find more projects and events on SciStarter, to do now or bookmark for later.
 
Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

C-BARQ

C-BARQ_ Pixabay

You know your dog better than anyone. Help researchers at the University of Pennsylvania standardize how canine temperament and behavior are evaluated. Fill out a short survey about the way your dog behaves.

There’s also a survey for cats called Fe-BARQ.

Location: Global, online

Family Dog Project/Barkingvizsla

Family Dog Project

You can be a part of the largest dog research group in the world when you participate in the Family Dog Project.

Listen to dog and human sounds to determine emotions and help researchers better understand relationships between dogs and humans.

Location: Global, online

Canine Health Project

pxhere.com
Do you have a purebred dog? The Canine Health Project tracks individual statistics on purebred dogs such as height, weight, date of birth, genotype, and more.

Add your dog’s stats today!

Location: Global, online

Pets Can Do

Rhys Asplundh CC BY 2.0

Researchers at the University of Lincoln, England, are trying to better understand animal behavior, including how much animals understand, known as cognition.

Fill out a survey about your dog or cat to contribute to their research!

 
Location: Global, online

Cat Tracker

Cat Tracker Diet Study Collection
Cats have built a reputation on their mysteriousness. But you can learn more about the secret life of your cat with Cat
Tracker.Learn where your outdoor cat hangs out and what they eat (beyond the bowl) or study your cat’s personality with a quick survey!
 
Location: Global

Discover more summertime citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Science Experiments for the Public during the Solar Eclipse

By Guest August 16th, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Comment

The two towers of the Schaeberle Camera and the rock wall at Jeur (India), with overlall height lowered by use of a pit for the plate-holder. Credit: Mary Lea Shane Archives

By Dr. Liz MacDonald, founder of Aurorasaurus and scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This blog reposted from blog.aurorasaurus.org.

Over a century ago, American astronomer W.W. Campbell set up a 40 foot ‘Schaeberle camera’ in Jeur, India to take pictures and study various properties of the sun’s outermost layer called the corona during the 1898 total solar eclipse. To make sure no people or animals would tamper with the camera before the eclipse occurred, he found volunteers to guard the delicate equipment the evening before the experiment. Today, in 2017, volunteers called citizen scientists are again helping scientists make observations and learn more about the sun and Earth interaction. This time though, citizen scientists across the United States will have more direct involvement, actually collecting data by making their own observations and operating instruments. Read the rest of this entry »

Weeding: It’s Not Just for Gardeners

By Guest August 10th, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Comment

By Kayla Keyes, Mote Marine Laboratory

Recent news about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has been grim: the most recent aerial survey of the reef identified a stretch of bleached coral over 900 miles (1500 km) long, and scientists have declared the reef to be in a terminal stage. Studies have shown that losing the Great Barrier Reef would result in a globally destructive economic and environmental chain reaction, but despite all of the pressures threatening the future of our reefs a positive light shines brightly from Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia. Read the rest of this entry »