Monday, June 4, 2018

Citizen Science

On the 9th of April there was a citizen science symposium held at Te Papa Wellington. You may have heard the term but do you know what citizen science is all about?
Firstly the objective should have a meaningful scientific outcome. The ideal would be to have a paper published on the outcome so that the information collected could be shared.
The ideal citizen science project would have three participants;
An enabler. This person is usually attached to an organisation such as a city council or a government department such the department of conservation. They would coordinate the project and solicit funding.
The scientist. They would either develop, or review, the methodology to be used to ensure meaningful objectives were going to be met. Hopefully they would also write up and present a paper at its conclusion.
The community (group / volunteers). They would be the ones on the ground doing the collecting of data.

When designing the methodology there are two things to keep in mind.
The more people involved in collecting the data (the community group / volunteers) the simpler the methodology should be and it should require only minimal training.
If the collection of data is, by necessity complex, then it should only involve a very limited number of people who can be selected for suitability and training. 

This link is to a YouTube clip of Siobhan Leachman’s presentation at the symposium entitled “Developing a crowdsourcing project – Keeping volunteers on board (7:40).

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