People-powered research

Today in Science, we need more hands than we have. Some can argue Artificial Intelligence (Machine Learning, Deep Learning) has come to rescue us, and that's partially true: if we have enough (a lot) of data. But what if we only have few data with its classification? let's say, just hundreds of images classified as Savanah, Patagonia, and Yellowstone. Then Artificial Intelligence methods are not so effective. In that case we need a powerful, trainable, and happy-to-help "machine": we need people. We need scientists, and we're not talking about having a degree. We're talking about people willing to make science.

So, do you want to make science from your phone? or while you're on the sofa with your laptop? or even when traveling and dealing with a huuuuge lag? (yeah, cheap tickets has its cons) This is possible, under the umbrella of "citizen science": it consists in projects leaded by scientists from different institutions, who create a dataset of images/text/data with the purpose of do some specific research as:

  • identify types of galaxies
  • discover new planets around stars
  • transcript Shakespeare letters (as the one in the picture)
  • identify and protect animals in extinction
  • classify rainforest flowers
  • study lions in Serengeti
  • study cyclone patterns
  • detect variability in stars million of years away from us
  • study chimpances

All the above an much more projects are available to sign up in Zooniverse (https://www.zooniverse.org/) This is a scientific hub where research can be done in large scales, without having training in the subject, just learning the specifics through some simple steps. At Zooniverse you can do science that impacts our world! You can be the author of one of the breakthroughs of today... from your favorite spot at home.

Give it a try, is amazing how do you feel knowing and researching. Besides, you'll have a great ice breaker for barbecues.