Hi all Citizen Scientists, Citizen Historians and plain Citizens,
It seems that not only is Citizen Science well established in the US, but has even reached down to the schools and colleges. In the UK and elsewhere, barely anyone seems to have heard of it. I would really like to see this change, so that students do some real science and history, using media they love - internet and social networking. Far more fun than sitting in just another lesson.
I've started emailing teaching institutions and science associations (UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) along the following lines:
"Citizen Science, and now Citizen History, as a way of involving colleges and schools in cutting edge research, is well advanced in the US, but does not seem to have taken off in the UK.
I would really like to see this change, and as the .......... Association, I wonder if there is any way you could help this happen. With the challenges of teaching history, the idea of students actually working with professional historians rather than just attending another lesson, has a lot of appeal.
My particular interest is as a naval historian. The University of Oxford-based Zooniverse Programme is running a number of projects, one of which is Old Weather. This involves transcribing the log books of British and US naval vessels over the last 150 years so that the weather data can be used for climate modelling by the UK Met Office and other institutes, and the naval information for history and genealogical researchers.
I would be happy to assist in any way I can. In the meantime, you can find out more by visiting http://www.zooniverse.org/
So far I've had some good responses including one invite to a university and from the British Association of Science.
I have a teenage daughter at school and have emailed her head offering to talk to his staff.
If this grabs you as much as it grabs me, please see what you can do to start a revolution in education.
All best, Gordon