Kickstarting Extreme CItizen Science

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 2:00 PM
Room C107 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Rajul Pandya, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. Galkiewicz, H. Furukawa, and B. Williams

There is ample of evidence that some of the most relevant, usable, engaging, and locally meaningful science comes not from the questions scientists ask of themselves, but from the questions non-scientists ask of them. What, then, if there was a way for non-scientists to pose science questions and to influence the direction of research? What if there was a way for scientists to work with communities on the resulting projects? What if funding was available for locally relevant work that emphasizes the application of science? What if citizen science was extreme not just asking citizens to collect data but also inviting them to partner in every aspect of a science process from defining a research question to applying the results to local policies?

These questions inspired the Thriving Earth Exchange. Communities will use the Thriving Earth Exchange to post a challenge and teams of scientists will submit potential solutions. A panel, led by the community and incorporating scientific input, will choose the most appropriate solution. Community members, scientists, and sponsors will then work together to implement that solution and share stories of their successes and trials. The Thriving Earth Exchange, then, serves as a launch pad for community-inspired science, a crowdsourcing site for scientific innovation, a match-making platform for connecting communities, scientists and sponsors, and a library of stories. In short, the Thriving Earth Exchange kickstarts extreme citizen science projects.

This presentation will present the evidence for the efficacy of extreme citizen science, describe how the Thriving Earth Exchange enables extreme citizen science, and highlight the results of pilot projects from the Exchange. Participants will leave with a few suggestions for how they can use the Exchange to incorporate elements of extreme citizen science into existing projects or explore new opportunities.