Rise of Citizen Scientists
This 18 August article from Nature is open access.
From the oceans to the soil, technology is changing the part that amateurs can play in research. But this greater involvement raises concerns that must be addressed
“Citizen science has come a long way from the first distributed-computing projects that hoovered up spare processing power on home computers to perform calculations or search for alien signals. And it has progressed further still since the earliest public surveys of wildlife: it was way back in 1900 that the Audubon Society persuaded Americans to exchange their Christmas tradition of shooting birds for a more productive effort to count them instead.
“Some professional scientists are sniffy about the role of amateurs, but as an increasing number of academic papers makes clear, the results can be valuable and can help both to generate data and to inform policy. Read on…