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.
Indiana University’s Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, CNetS, in collaboration with The Kinsey Institute, has released Kinsey Reporter, a global mobile survey platform for collecting and sharing anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors. The pilot project allows citizen observers around the world to use free applications now available for Apple and Android mobile platforms to not only report on sexual behavior and experiences, but also to share, explore and visualize the accumulated data.
Using Kinsey Reporter, participants can submit an anonymous report of sexual or intimate activity within 24 hours of an event. The report can be about the user or someone else they’ve observed. The resulting surveys—or reports of information shared by many individuals—cover sexual behaviors and events, sexual health issues, violence reports, public displays of affection and other experiences. Users can submit reports on different events as often as they’d like but they can only select among the provided tags when answering a question. To protect anonymity, the reports only use approximate locations selected by survey participants.
The laughter of tiny babies is not just a phenomenally popular theme for YouTube videos, it is also a fantastic window into the workings of the human brain. You can’t laugh unless you get the joke. At the University of London's Birkbeck Babylab we study how babies learn about the world. We believe that studying early laughter in detail will throw new light on the workings of babies’ brains, as well as offering new insights into the uniquely human characteristic that is humor.
We are researching just what makes babies laugh by conducting the largest ever global survey of early laughter. If you are parent with a child under two, you can take the survey. It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
We are also interested on particular incidents that made your baby laugh. Who was present? What was so funny? You can file a 'field report'.
Did You Feel It? is a Web site produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to tap the abundant information available about earthquakes from the people who actually experience them. By taking advantage of the vast numbers of Internet users, USGS seeks to get a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of the earthquake and the extent of damage. With the help of citizen scientists, USGS can do this almost instantly.
By contributing experience of the earthquake, either immediately afterward, or whenever it is possible for to do so, citizen scientists will have made a contribution to the scientific body of information about this earthquake. They will also ensure that their areas have been represented in the compilation of the shaking map. This is a two-way street. Not only will citizen scientists add valuable information on the extent of ground shaking and damage, but in the process USGS hopes citizen scientists will learn more about how other communities fared and gain a greater understanding of the effects of earthquakes.
Deadline: Jan 27 2014
Reward: $15,000 USD
The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
Deadline: Jan 11 2014
Reward: $20,000 USD
Conventional washing machines cause excessive damage and wrinkling to clothes primarily during the water removal step. With the introduc
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