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.


  • Ignore That! Mind

    Ignore That!

    Help researchers better understand people’s ability to ignore unnecessary information

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Joshua Hartshorne DATES: Ongoing
  • Clock Your Sleep Health

    Clock Your Sleep

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

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  • Forgotten Island Mind

    Forgotten Island

    Contribute to scientific knowledge while playing this adventure game

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Kevin Crowston and Jun Wang DATES: Ongoing
  • AgeGuess Mind


    A citizen science project that lets you guess people's ages--without fear of offending them!

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Uli Steiner and Dusan Misevic DATES: Ongoing
  • The VerbCorner Project Mind

    The VerbCorner Project

    Help researchers better understand the role of verbs in communication

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Joshua Hartshorne, Post-Doctoral Fellow DATES: Ongoing
  • The Baby Laughter Project Mind

    The Baby Laughter Project

    Citizen scientists help study what makes babies laugh

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Mark Johnson, Director DATES: Ongoing
  • Panamath Mind


    Test your inborn ability to intuitively size up the number of objects in your everyday environment

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    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Justin Halberda DATES: Ongoing

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