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Classifying plankton: more fun than you might think

One of my favourite things to do with this blog these days is to catalogue/chronicle awesome citizen science initiatives. And there’s a new one! And it’s lots of fun! In Plankton Portal, you get to help identify plankton from images taken . I’ve just started playing, and so far it’s actually trickier than it looks, but one gets added benefit of learning heaps about plankton which, lets face it, are amazingly cool (my favourite are […]

My Skeptics Conference 2013 talk and slides – ‘Nerds, nerds everywhere’

The weekend just passed saw the annual NZ Skeptics Conference 2013, held in my home town of Wellington. The theme was around science communication, and speakers featured such stars as Pamela Gay and Kylie Sturgess, as well as local speakers such as Martin Manning and fellow Scibloggers Siouxise Wiles and Elf Eldridge. For some unfathomable reason, I was asked to speak too. I was told it was because of experience in and around community stuff […]

Citizen science class: Using the “bigfoot genome” for 21st century biology

Those of you who read this blog regularly (or not) will likely have picked up that I have something of a passion for things involving citizen science and education-type stuff. So, with that in mind, I present to you ‘science: cryptogenomics – using the “bigfoot genome” for 21st century biology‘. The class is being run through Chalkle, a local and award-winning education platform/community. What’s it all about, though, and what will you get out of […]

Why aren’t more Kiwis involved in the International Space Apps Challenge?

This post is a clarion call, if you will. If you are involved, go out and rope in everyone you know. If you aren’t, read on… On April 20-21 of this year, people all over the world will be taking part in a truly awesome hackfest – the International Space Apps Challenge. It describes itself as ‘a technology development event during which citizens from around the world work together to solve challenges relevant to improving […]

Meet eteRNA: “Played by humans, scored by Nature”

As regular readers of mine will know, I have something of a jones for citizen science projects. Something of a substantial one, in fact.   And so, it’s with enormous joy that I’d like to introduce y’all to another member of the flock: eteRNA. In this online ‘game’, you get to help advance science by designing RNA*, which is then, if you win the weekly competition, synthesized (i.e. MADE) and scored on how well it […]

Citizen Science – Globe at Night

Ah, citizen science.  How we love you so :) For those not familiar with the concept, citizen science is what we call distributed science projects in which members of the public contribute to the science being done: they help collect the data, for example, or analyse it. Examples include Galaxy Zoo, as well as a host of others. And now there’s a beautiful new project in which to get involved, and it’s far from time-heavy: […]