ADVERTISEMENT

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

Projects

  • Go Viral Health

    Go Viral

    Research program collects fluid specimens from the community and analyzes them with the latest molecular diagnostics instruments

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Rumi Chunara DATES: Ongoing
  • Citizen Science Soil Collection Program More Science

    Citizen Science Soil Collection Program

    Help University of Oklahoma scientists study microscopic life in search of new drug compounds

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Robert Cichewicz DATES: Ongoing
  • Reverse the Odds Technology

    Reverse the Odds

    Analyze real cancer data by playing a mobile game

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Anne Kiltie and Gareth Thomas DATES: Ongoing
  • Nanocrafter More Science

    Nanocrafter

    A game that challenges players to build nanoscale devices using small pieces of DNA

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • Play to Cure: Genes in Space Health

    Play to Cure: Genes in Space

    Free mobile game that uses the collective force of players to analyze real genetic data

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Hannah Keartland DATES: Ongoing
  • Fatty Acids: The 6th Taste? (Denver, Colo.) More Science

    Fatty Acids: The 6th Taste? (Denver, Colo.)

    Help Denver’s community-based Genetics of Taste Lab explore the possibility that there are more than just the five known tastes of sweet, sour, salty, umami (savory) and bitter

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Nicole Garneau/Richard Mattes DATES: Ongoing
  • The Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) More Science

    The Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET)

    Conduct year-round beached bird surveys in order to identify and record information about bird mortality along the eastern coast of the United States

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Julie Ellis, Research Assistant Professor DATES: Ongoing
  • Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication and Health (BEACH) Program Health

    Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication and Health (BEACH) Program

    Help monitor the health of Washington State beaches

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Debby Sargeant, BEACH Program Manager DATES: Ongoing
  • Clock Your Sleep Everyday Science

    Clock Your Sleep

    Track your slumber in the city that never sleeps, and elsewhere

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A DATES: Ongoing
  • EteRNA Biology

    EteRNA

    Game lets citizen scientists participate in creating large-scale library of synthetic RNA designs

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Rhiju Das, Assistant Professor/Adrien Treuille, Assistant Professor DATES: Ongoing
  • The Smell Experience Project Health

    The Smell Experience Project

    Help researchers understand how and why a person’s sense of smell might change over time

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Dolores Malaspina, MD, MSPH, Director of InSPIRES DATES: Ongoing
  • How Radioactive Is Our Ocean? Health

    How Radioactive Is Our Ocean?

    Help U.S. marine scientists monitor the spread of radiation across the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist DATES: Ongoing
  • Flusurvey Health

    Flusurvey

    Feeling sick in the U.K. or Europe? At least it won’t interfere with your citizen science work

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Alma Adler & John Edmunds (UK) DATES: Ongoing
  • NanoDoc Health

    NanoDoc

    An online game that allows bioengineers and the general public to design new nanoparticle strategies towards the treatment of cancer

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Sangeeta Bhatia, Professor DATES: Ongoing
  • Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) Health

    Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB)

    Form a citizen-science bucket brigade to study the environmental health of your community

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Anne Rolfes DATES: Ongoing
  • American Gut Health

    American Gut

    An open-source, community-driven effort to characterize the microbial diversity of the American public

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jeff Leach DATES: Ongoing
  • World Water Monitoring Challenge Health

    World Water Monitoring Challenge

    Test your local water and share the results globally

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: various regional scientists DATES: Ongoing
  • Eyewire Health

    Eyewire

    Help scientists help make discoveries about the neural structure of the retina

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Sebastian Seung DATES: Ongoing
  • Phylo Health

    Phylo

    Help researchers use bioinformatics to better study the origins of certain genetic diseases

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jerome Waldispuhl and Mathieu Blanchette DATES: Ongoing

EVERY ISSUE
EVERY YEAR
1845-PRESENT

Get All-Access Digital + Print >

X

Email this Article

X