Published on March 25th, 2016 | by Ton Jense0
Join a citizen science project
With universities in Zambia being shut down, and universities in Europe being criticized for being semi-corporate publication machines, the time to start creating our own saviors of science, might have come. What can you do? Today’s option: start counting, join a citizen science project
join a citizen science project
Check if there is a citizen science project in your area, or start your own. For instance, there a several bee and wildlife counting projects, worldwide and local. Think properly if you want to hand in the information you are expected to collect as an open access, or if want to sell it later, and to whom. As your choice might not only depend on finances, but also on potential use and ethics, it might be useful to read a few articles on the use of science. Do not only think of how you would want to use the data you are about to collect, but also try to imagine how those with other interests could use it. For instance, publishing data on where you last saw a certain group of elephants, might not only help environmentalists, but could also be very handy for potential poachers.
Before getting active, make sure all participants share standards on how to collect and register data. Sharing information on methodologies in your field can help ensure you collect valid and useful information. There is a lot of online information at your disposal, and many have proved science does not to be difficult. Free apps might save you a lot of time and confusion too. Again, when accepting the apps conditions, beware of how your information is shared, and how you can avoid abuse.
There’s many more, keep on searching for “citizen science” combined with your area of interest, and ask people who are interested on similar topics, in different locations. They might be able to share their tools and knowledge to help you get started with your own project.
Collaborative science might be cheap, but not free. If you need money for your own research group, you might want to consider crowdfunding on sites like https://experiment.com/. Before you get too excited, you might want to read Wired’s considerations