Citizen Science: Valley of the Khans with Albert Lin

Citizen Science: Valley of the Khans with Albert Lin

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Citizen Science, EU and Greece, Social Networking and Crisis

Episode: Citizen Science, EU and Greece, Social Networking and Crisis

  • Mar 2, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 14:59 mins

(1:11) Guest: Albert Lin, Research Scientist at the University of California, San Diego and an emerging explorer at the National Geographic Exploration  People are commemorating a key moment in the Civil Rights movement—the Selma Montgomery march that took place 50 years ago this week. Many people coming together and marching is one way to make a change.  In this digital age, there’s increasing opportunity to mobilize virtually – to combine the expertise of many hundreds of thousands of people – and make something happen. Petitions circulated on Change.org routinely prompt public officials and corporations to take action. The Smithsonian Museums have a crowd-sourcing website where people with spare time or an excess of enthusiasm for history can help transcribe documents in the museum collection that are too hard for a computer to decipher. Along those same lines, anytime you get one of those “captcha” tests when you’re posting or signing up for something on the internet, you’re proving you’re not a robot while simultaneously teaching computers how to better read handwritten documents.  The scientific world is particularly keen on capturing the power of the group. Players of an online puzzle game called FoldIt have helped advance our knowledge of how proteins are structured. What else might “citizen scientists” be able to solve?  “There is this idea that we can participate in science at an individual level but also that those individual contributions can come together to be bigger than those corporations alone. When we start to mobilize,” says Lin, “together we can really change how we think of individual participation in science.”

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