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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

  • 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

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Dolores Malaspina, MD, MSPH, Director of InSPIRES DATES: Ongoing
  • Flusurvey Health

    Flusurvey

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

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Alma Adler & John Edmunds (UK) DATES: Ongoing
  • Kinsey Reporter More Science

    Kinsey Reporter

    Citizen observers report on sexual behavior and experiences as well as share, explore and visualize the accumulated data

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A DATES: Ongoing
  • The Baby Laughter Project Mind & Brain

    The Baby Laughter Project

    Citizen scientists help study what makes babies laugh

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Mark Johnson, Director DATES: Ongoing
  • Did You Feel It? More Science

    Did You Feel It?

    Contribute your experience of having been in an earthquake with USGS scientists

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: David Wald, Supervisory Research Geophysicist DATES: Ongoing
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