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

  • Zooniverse: Orchid Observers [U.K.] Energy & Sustainability

    Zooniverse: Orchid Observers [U.K.]

    Help scientists better understand the effects that climate change is having on orchids in the U.K.

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • MicroBlitz [Western Australia] More Science

    MicroBlitz [Western Australia]

    University of Western Australia researchers are looking for citizen scientists to send them soil samples from around the state to better understand region’s biodiversity and environmental health

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Andy Whiteley DATES: Ongoing
  • 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
  • Asteroid Data Hunter Technology

    Asteroid Data Hunter

    Protecting the Earth from the threat of asteroid impacts means first knowing where they are

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • Migratory Dragonfly Partnership More Science

    Migratory Dragonfly Partnership

    Join a growing citizen science community working together to increase knowledge about North America’s five main migratory dragonfly species

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Celeste Mazzacano DATES: Ongoing
  • Zooniverse: Science Gossip Technology

    Zooniverse: Science Gossip

    Help researchers classify Victorian-era science drawings and map the origins of citizen science

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various 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
  • Weather-IT Technology

    Weather-IT

    A series of weather-related citizen science projects

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Maria Aristeidou DATES: Ongoing
  • Mitten Crab Watch More Science

    Mitten Crab Watch

    Help scientists track the invasive Mitten Crab threatening U.S. waters

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A DATES: Ongoing
  • Ignore That! Mind & Brain

    Ignore That!

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

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Joshua Hartshorne DATES: Ongoing
  • Canid Howl Project Evolution

    Canid Howl Project

    Help researchers understand the communication of wolves, dogs and coyotes

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various 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
  • Lost at Night Space

    Lost at Night

    Help astrophysicists georeference the position of cities which appear in images taken from the International Space Station (ISS)

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: José Gómez Castaño DATES: Ongoing
  • Marine Metre Squared More Science

    Marine Metre Squared

    New Zealand citizen scientists monitor the diversity living things found on beaches

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: N/A DATES: Ongoing
  • Zooniverse: Asteroid Zoo Space

    Zooniverse: Asteroid Zoo

    Scientists scanning our solar system need your help to find asteroids for the exploration of their mineral properties

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing
  • Zooniverse: Penguin Watch Evolution

    Zooniverse: Penguin Watch

    Join researchers in sorting through 200,000-plus penguin images to help improve efforts at penguin conservation

    More »
    PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Various DATES: Ongoing

Email this Article

X