Learn, Contribute, Inspire
The social media era has made it possible for numerous communities of science enthusiast to congregate and pool their resources to together to tackle massive task-based projects. Through such ‘crowdsourcing‘ endeavors, every person (regardless of education or skill) can now contribute to the discoveries, cures, and innovations of tomorrow by lending a few minutes of their time.
As a mysterious wasting diseases continues to ravage the populations of sea stars up and down the West Coast of North America, concerned divers Laura James and Lamont Granquist have organized their own crowdsourcing initiative to collect pictures of both sick and non-sick sea stars from citizen scientists to help build a better baseline for researchers.
About the project, including a video of the wasting diseases: http://www.sickstarfish.com/static/about
Map of current reports:
As federal research grants dry up, more and more institutions are turning to crowdfunding for their projects. This article discusses the pitfalls and opportunities in either option. It also highlights some of the successful crowdfunding for science projects that have been lead by Microryza.
In this Spectroscopy Now article, David Bradley discusses how a potential antitumor compound was discovered through the efforts of crowdsourcing.
In the study, citizen scientists were asked to submit samples of soil from their gardens to a research team who then posted visual examples of fungus online for volunteers to identify. A soil sample from Alaska was found to have an unusual fungus that may have antitumor abilities.
NASA and Planetary Resources Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., are partnering to develop
crowd-sourced software solutions to enhance detection of near-Earth objects
using agency-funded data. The agreement is NASA’s first partnership associated
with the agency’s Asteroid Grand Challenge.
In this Scientific American article, Declan Butler discusses how volunteers helped coordinate Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts by analyzing satellite images.
From Jacques-Yves Cousteau to Jacques Rougerie, this crowdfunded campaign will bring you the SeaOrbiter. With your help, this totally badass project hopes to begin construction in 2014.
The Science Play and Research Kit (SPARK) is a competition that more or less encourages the crowdsourced development of better science education.
Taking cues from the imagination of the 1940s and 60s chemistry set, competitors are encouraged to submit their reimagined science education toolsets designed to inspire new generations of future scientists for the 21st century. Competitors can win up t $50,000.
Anneberger Learner’s Journey North is a crowdsourcing endeavor that encourages citizens to report sightings of migrating birds. This data contributes to a global stud of wildlife migrations and seasonal change. Sightings can be reported through websites and smart phone apps. Migrations that are being tracked include: hummingbirds, whales, robins, monarch butterflies, whooping cranes, bald eagles, and other songbirds.
David Glowacki has taken research-grade molecular simulations and imported them to an Xbox Kinect 3D system where video game players can interact with the molecular world in order to better understand theoretical chemistry.
The Open-Phylo project represents a great leap forward in crowdsourcing technology for scientists. The web-interface allows researchers to upload Multiple Sequence Alignments, which are then converted into DNA puzzles which harness the human brains ability to recognize patterns.
To find out more, check out this article from The Business Journals.