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

  • iSeeChange Everyday Science

    iSeeChange

    Contribute to a socially networked weather Almanac for communities to collectively journal climate observations, questions and decisions against near-real time climate information

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Julia Kumari Drapkin DATES: Ongoing
  • SatCam Technology

    SatCam

    Capture observations of sky and ground conditions at the same time that an Earth observation satellite is overhead

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Liam Gumley 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
  • Air Visibility Monitoring Science Education

    Air Visibility Monitoring

    Help USC researchers study air visibility using an Android smartphone and app

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Gaurav Sukhatme, Professor and Director DATES: Ongoing
  • Happy Match Biology

    Happy Match

    In this twist on the on the classic quiz game, players participate in scientific research by classifying photos of animal, plant and insect species

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Kevin Crowston and Jun Wang 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
  • Forgotten Island Science Education

    Forgotten Island

    Contribute to scientific knowledge while playing this adventure game

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Kevin Crowston and Jun Wang DATES: Ongoing
  • Marine Animal Identification Network (MAIN) Biology

    Marine Animal Identification Network (MAIN)



    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A 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
  • Zooniverse: Project Star Date M83 More Science

    Zooniverse: Project Star Date M83

    Study Hubble telescope images to help identify the ages of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy’s (M83) many star clusters.

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • NOVA Cloud Lab

    NOVA Cloud Lab

    Try your hand at classifying clouds and investigating the role they play in severe tropical storms

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • NOVA Energy Lab Energy & Sustainability

    NOVA Energy Lab

    Help design energy systems that meet demand and save the greatest amount of carbon emissions for the least amount of money

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • Astro Drone Crowdsourcing Game Technology

    Astro Drone Crowdsourcing Game

    If you own a Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter, you can participate in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Astro Drone crowdsourcing game to help improve robot vision

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Paul K. Gerke, I.G. Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, Guido C.H.E. de Croon DATES: Ongoing
  • Weddell Seal Population Count More Science

    Weddell Seal Population Count

    Help scientists in the field monitor the Weddell seal population in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jay Rotella, Robert Garrott and Don Siniff 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
  • The Snowtweets Project More Science

    The Snowtweets Project

    Citizen scientists can help Canadian researchers map snow depths worldwide using Twitter

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Richard Kelly, Professor DATES: Ongoing
  • SENSR Technology

    SENSR

    A tool to create, share and manage a citizen science project running on mobile devices to harness the power of citizen scientists

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Sunyoung Kim, PhD Candidate DATES: Ongoing
  • Poo Power! More Science

    Poo Power!

    Fight back against dog poo discarded on the streets (and sidewalks)

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Duncan Chew/Mia Cobb DATES: Ongoing
Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X