By Eva Lewandowski December 22nd, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Comment
By Caren Cooper December 21st, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Comment
Citizen science is a range of activities and projects through which people from all walks of life help advance scientific discovery. Citizen scientists bring science into the mainstream and make science relevant to their lives. As a scientist, I rely on citizen scientists as research collaborators. As a blogger, I’ve become a citizen science advocate giving three cheers to discoveries and projects. Every time I share stories about citizen science, the most frequent response I receive is skepticism about data quality. How could people – veritable strangers – without formal training in the sciences be of any authentic use to professional scientific research projects? How can people without scientific credential do work of sufficient quality to result in products of genuine scientific value? Is it really possible for science-society collaborations involving individuals with highly variable levels of expertise to produce reliable and trustworthy knowledge? Read the rest of this entry »
By Kaitlin Vortherms December 14th, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Comment
For many new parents, trying to figure out what a baby needs can feel like taking care of a tiny alien. It doesn’t speak your language and yet you have to figure out what it needs to stay alive. And while there is no shortage of advice about how to manage your child’s eating and sleeping patterns, there hasn’t been much new research in this area to inform parents and pediatricians. So how do you know if you’re getting it right?
This is the gap researchers at New York University are bridging in the Baby Sleep Study, which aims to create a large database of eating and sleeping patterns in babies from across the world. In particular, the researchers note that developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, are often associated with disrupted sleep or digestion. By tracking these behaviors starting in infancy, the researchers hope to pinpoint just how early these patterns begin to emerge. Read the rest of this entry »
By Eva Lewandowski December 8th, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Comment
By Erica Prange December 4th, 2016 at 9:08 am | Comment
At SciStarter, we aim to make it easy to find and join meaningful citizen science projects. Choose a location, activity, or topic to find appropriate adventures and learn more about the project and what tools (sensors, digital scales, rain gauges, etc) are needed to participate. But, for many projects and would-be participants, there are challenges to accessing the right tools for the job. (We define “tools” as equipment not usually found at home.) So, we took the follow steps to find a solution and are ready for your help to populate a new database of citizen science tools.
Step One: We interviewed 110 people about their citizen science tool needs.
Through participation in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps for Learning program, a collaboration of researchers between SciStarter and Arizona State University’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and ASU’s School of Engineering adapted lean launch methods to explore and develop a better understanding of the ecosystem of stakeholders around citizen science tools. Read the rest of this entry »