Citizen Science and Intellectual Property: A Guide for the Perplexed

Citizen scientists help researchers transcribe historical climate records and photograph natural phenomena. By Naomi Bloch The concept of the science hobbyist —­ the backyard astronomer staring up at the sky or the amateur ornithologist taking part in the annual Christmas bird count — is hardly a new one. What is notable today, however, is the scale and scope of new … Read More

Can Citizen Science Help Cities Address Climate Change?

Mapping for Change supports citizen science inquiries into environmental and social issues. Here, participants take noise level readings in regions around a London airport. Photo courtesy Mapping for Change. By Naomi Bloch If you were following the recent climate change talks in Paris, you may have noticed a recurring theme: policymakers acknowledging the leadership of subnational governments in addressing climate … Read More

Crowdsourcing for better science and governance?

By Drew Bush At Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology, scientists have long benefited from the legions of enthusiasts who find joy in observing and reporting the birds they see during their daily routines. In 2002, the lab worked with the United States National Audubon Society to launch E-Bird, an online database where scientists and amateur naturalists can submit real-time observations … Read More