Arizona Science Center’s CEO, Chevy Humphrey, is bridging the gap between science and our everyday world. In her latest Huffington post blog, she examines the concept of citizen science and using cell phones for science.

“Citizen science as a concept has been around for centuries, as it got its roots from science hobbyists like Gregor Mendel, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Darwin. But what exactly is a citizen scientist? It has long been considered to be an amateur or nonprofessional scientist, and these types of scientists are proving to be quite useful with cutting edge research today. Without the typical training and science education that is required of university and other professional scientists, everyday people can foster the behavior of asking questions about the world around them, seeking out the answers to those questions, and documenting their own observations and conclusions.

This change in behavior to make wondering and asking questions a habitual experience is what I find to be the most important and beneficial aspect of this new age of citizen science. As opposed to just taking in the world around you, this form of science engagement encourages people to wonder the why and the how, and ultimately come to their own conclusions about how our world works.

Now let’s face it, we live in a generation of screens and ever-evolving technology. So how do we avoid the common scenario of disengagement caused by the often perpetual need to be glued to our smart phones and our tablets? We transform these devices into tools of engagement. And citizen science is doing just that. As we continue to move in the direction of advanced mobile technology, citizen science is utilizing this by encouraging programmers to develop new apps that provide the everyday person with the tools they need to contribute to current research…”

Read the full article here.

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