Citizen science — the growing trend of involving non-professional scientists in the process of discovery — is proving to be a supremely effective tool. It now includes far more than birders and backyard astronomers, its first amateur champions. Over the past few years, the discipline has been gaining traction and popularity in academic circles too. Involving groups of amateur volunteers is now a proven strategy for collecting data over large geographic areas or over long periods of time. Online platforms like Zooniverse have shown that even an untrained human eye can spot anomalies in everything from wildebeest migrations to Martian surfaces. For certain types of research, citizen science just works. Read more in IDEAS.TED.COM
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