[[PHOTO CREDIT: DEBBIE OPPERMANN, CWF PHOTO CONTEST]
Have you ever wanted to get involved in a scientific project? With crowdsourcing, scientists can put their projects on the web, and anyone who wants to get involved can volunteer.
There are no deadlines and absolutely no prerequisites. There are a large number of projects available, spanning biology, natural history, astronomy, and the humanities, among others. Most projects have the appeal of a video game with the added value of making a meaningful contribution, letting users participate in scientific discovery. Many of the projects are suitable for kids!
There are overwhelming advantages for scientists to embrace the power of the Internet and include the public in research efforts. With the expansion of modern technology, data sets have multiplied in size, allowing researchers to work with more information than ever before. Computer programs have become exceptionally sophisticated to handle the data influx, but inherently human abilities, primarily pattern recognition and the uncanny ability to pinpoint irregularities, have yet to be perfected by any computer.
I tried a few of these out; naturally I was most interested in the natural history projects. There is even a bat one!
For a list of projects visit these web sites: