What is ‘citizen science’?
The Cornwall Science Community agrees wholeheartedly with the British Science Association’s mission statement, which argues that:
” Society’s biggest issues cannot be solved by science alone. By unlocking the potential of a more diverse group of people, we increase our ability to tackle some of the world’s most intractable challenges.”
If science is more of a mindset than a list of activities, as the BSA believes, then we can ALL be scientists.
One of the key ambitions of Cornwall Science Community (which was formerly the Cornwall branch of the BSA) is to encourage active participation in scientific endeavours by ordinary members of the public.
This active participation is what we call ‘citizen science’
Kids, don’t try this at home….
Find yourself a project?
Here we aim eventually to be able to list all the citizen science projects already running that are open to the citizens of Cornwall – whether they are specific to Cornwall, or even to particular parts of the Duchy, or cover a broader, perhaps a far broader area.
In the meantime, the BSA nationally has put together a useful sample list of citizen science projects ( HERE) with advice as to how to get involved, via their Engagement Team.
BSA video on volunteering
In addition, we are supporting the Cornwall Museum Partnership’s ambition in developing ‘citizen curators’ – those who will catalog objects or activities, past of present, that tell a story about our world. Read more about it HERE
Not just the usual suspects
Recently, psychology researchers have become concerned that so much – perhaps most – published psychology research has relied on ‘convenience sampling’ of readily available subjects – usually students.
But these researchers and their student volunteers tend to be found in societies and social groups that have been described as generally White, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic – that is, this is ‘WEIRD science’.
The cutting edge of science that will help us to understand and improve our lot, as humans on this planet, will need participation from a much broader spread of the population.