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Citizen Science

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Citizen Science

Caren Cooper

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-1599-8
Trim Size: 5 3/8" x 8"
The Overlook Press

Product Description

The rallying call-to-arms for ordinary people to engage with their community and contribute to scientific discovery from their home, backyard, office, and neighborhood

Think you need a degree in science to contribute to important scientific discoveries? Think again. All around the world, in fields ranging from astronomy to zoology, millions of everyday people are choosing to participate in the scientific process. Working in cooperation with scientists in pursuit of information, innovation, and dis­covery, these volunteers are following protocols, collect­ing and reviewing data, and sharing their observations. They are our neighbors, our in-laws, and people in the office down the hall. Their story, along with the story of the social good that can result from citizen science, has largely been untold, until now.

Citizen scientists are challenging old notions about who can conduct research, where knowledge can be acquired, and even how solutions to some of our big­gest societal problems might emerge. In telling their story, Cooper will inspire readers to rethink their own assumptions about the role that individuals can play in gaining scientific understanding and putting that under­standing to use as stewards of our world.

Citizen Science uncovers how people from all walks of life―retirees monitoring precipitation with standard­ized rain gauges, inmates raising, tagging, and releas­ing monarch butterflies to track their migration from the prison yard, video gamers solving biochemistry puzzles to help find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, and mothers advocating for healthy drinking water and clear air for their families and communities―can tap into their potential to make scientific discoveries that lead to meaningful, positive change.

“An engaging overview of the movement written with the energy and the enthusiasm of a crusader for the cause.”
Deborah Blum, The Washington Post

“[An] engaging exploration of citizen science . . . Speaking to educators at all levels, curious individuals hoping to get more involved, and groups planning community programming, this work is an excellent recommendation.”
Library Journal (starred review)

Caren Cooper is an associate professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Leadership in Public Science, and assistant head of the Biodiversity Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She studies bird ecology, conservation, and management through the use of citizen science. She served as an advisor to the public television documentary mini-series The Crowd & The Cloud. She is a blogger at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Discover and guest blogger at Scientific American, and she is director of partnerships at SciStarter.com.

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