Navigation Links
Inaugural cross-disciplinary Public Participation in Scientific Research conference

Though public participation in scientific research has deep roots in the history of science, in the last few years it has taken off spectacularly from launch pads across the disciplines of science and education, fueled by advances in communications technology and a sea change in a scientific culture now eager to welcome outsiders as collaborators.

Citizen science, crowd-sourced science, DIY research, volunteer monitoring, community participatory action research the variety of banners flying over participatory science projects reflects the diversity of their origins, from astronomy to zoology. This August, the first cross-disciplinary conference on Public Participation in Scientific Research will bring the clans together as part of the Ecological Society of America's 2012 annual meeting in Portland, Oregon.

Citizen science projects give non-specialists the power to apply their curiosity about the natural world, and their love of puzzles and games, to real scientific questions. Projects have recruited naturalists and novices to classify galaxies, refine protein models, align DNA sequences, identify and count birds, record weather, and track plant and animal life through the changing of the seasons.

"The participatory science field has been growing, but in isolated silos. Even within the environmental sciences, the water quality people self-organize separately from the biology people," said Abe Miller- Rushing, one of the meeting organizers, and a science coordinator for the National Park Service. "We really wanted to have an open-invite meeting that emphasized innovation, and could kick-start conversations."

Miller-Rushing will open the conference with a presentation on the history of public participation in scientific research. He has a paper on the same topic, with Richard Primack of Boston University and Rick Bonney of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in the upcoming August 2012 special issue of ESA's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, "Citizen Science new pathways to public involvement in research," timed to coincide with the conference.

Other invited speakers hail from public health, biochemistry, education, geography, and atmospheric sciences, at universities, government agencies, and indigenous organizations. Organizers expect over 150 poster presentations.

Many participatory science initiatives started with a researcher's need for additional hands, eyes, and boots on the ground. With the help of dedicated hobbyists, enthusiastic school kids and teachers, and curious on-lookers, they could multiply data collection and analysis by orders of magnitude, essentially creating thousands of lab and field assistants.

Educators and scientific organizations soon saw the potential for learning-through-doing, drawing the practice of science back into public life from which it has grown increasingly estranged.

Though projects are diverse in style and application, they overlap in their need for large data repositories, attractive user interfaces, sustainable funding and management, connectivity with their volunteers, recruitment, and quality control. The conference offers a chance to cross-pollinate, and share ideas.

"The conference comes at a time when citizen science is gaining significant momentum in advancing scientific knowledge and enhancing science education," said Sandra Henderson, director of NEON's Project BudBurst, guest editor for Frontiers' "Citizen Science" special issue, and an advisor for the Public Participation in Scientific Research conference. "This conference will bring diverse stakeholders together to form new communities that will help citizen science reach its full potential in addressing the needs of science and society."


Contact: Liza Lester
202-833-8773 x211
Ecological Society of America

Related biology news :

1. FirstMark Exhibiting at the Inaugural Atlanta Clinical Cardiology Update
2. Bowman provides strategies to engage public with climate change solutions
3. Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
4. Internet and new drugs: A challenge for public health
5. WHOI to host public forum on climate change and global water supplies
6. Science reporters win ASM Public Communications Award
7. Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy
8. Pre-surgical steps for eye surgery are standardized through JoVEs video publication
9. Webcast: Public forum with North Americas environment ministers on community, ecosystem resilience
10. New model in scientific publishing: GigaScience combines article and data publication
11. APS issues new policy requiring identification of sex or gender in reporting scientific research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 09, 2015 ... the addition of the "Global Law ... their offering. --> ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) has ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 2015 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global ... - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to ... The market is estimated to expand at a CAGR ... 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, the ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ) will be presenting at ... on Wednesday, December 2 at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT ... provide a corporate overview. th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare ... ET/10:00 a.m. PT . Jim Mazzola , vice president ... --> th Annual Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research ... announced that the company has set a new quarterly earnings record ... quarter growth posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015. ... Mexico , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the ... cell culture models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. ... served on the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero ...
Breaking Biology Technology: