Tweeting for Science – Citizen Science meets Social Media
Thursday, 20 March 2014 from 18:30 to 21:00 (GMT)
Join us for an evening of discussion about how Citizen Science projects are using Social Media to involve individuals in real science.
6:00 - Doors Open
6:30 - Introduction to Citizen Science (Margaret Gold)
6:35 - Speakers share examples of Social Media in Citizen Science
7:40 - Q & A with the Speakers (Monica Lobo & Toby Shannon)
8:00 - Introduction to the Challenge (Brian Fuchs)
8:10 - Group Discussions at the Tables over drinks
8:50 - Brief ‘Show & Tell’ of the discussion outcomes.
What is Citizen Science?
Citizen Science is real science done collaboratively by amateurs, volunteers, and enthusiasts around the globe. People are classifying galaxies from their computers, monitoring the health of trees in their community, transcribing weather reports from old naval logs, and gathering data on their mobiles to make a real contribution to scientific research.
One emerging branch dubbed “Extreme Citizen Science” provides tools that can be used by any individual, regardless of their level of literacy, to collect, analyse and act on information by using established scientific methods. This allows any community to start a Citizen Science project to deal with the issues that concern them - from biodiversity to food production, involving communities from housing estates in London to hunter-gatherers and forest villagers in the Congo Basin.
What is the role of Social Media?
Social Media include discussion forums, blogs, wikis, tweets, voting, picture sharing and rating sites as well as social bookmarking. When mobile devices are added to the mix, Social Media often involve sharing real-time mobile information such as location (e.g. Foursquare) media use as well as user-generated content, such as photos.
Many Citizen Science projects are now taking advantage of mobile phones and tablets for easy data collection, such as iPhone apps for monitoring birds and marine wildlife or the NASA Meteor Counter app. Discussion forums have always played a major role in Citizen Science, but the full potential of Social Media for Citizen Science has only just begun to be tapped.
Some examples of Social Media in Citizen Science projects include GeoTag Libya - which used metadata from photo-sharing sites like flickr and twitter to geo-locate thousands of photos of areas affected by military operations to help UNOSAT experts assess damage to civilian infrastructure; and Aurorasaurus - which uses twitter to aggregate and share real-time data about aurora borealis sightings around the world.
How can you get involved?
But why not contribute your skills to the design and launch of Citizen Science projects as well? If you've got social media skills, dev skills, graphic design skills, game design skills, or any other kind of technical know-how, future projects could really use your help. Have a chat with the Citizen Cyberlab team at the event (or e-mail margaret at citizencyberlab dot eu) to find out more about how you can get involved.
DIY Science for the win!
ADD YOUR VOICE
During the event, we will be doing a voxpop survey on social media in citizen science, to be aired on our Citizens of Science Audioboo channel.
This is your chance to make a difference by sharing your ideas about social media in citizen science with the community.
You can also contribute to our Citizens of Science YouTube channel as well.
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