SciStarter and Arizona State University hosted change-makers from both the citizen science and maker movements at last week’s first-ever Citizen Science Makers Summit. These two movements both aim to disrupt the status quo of science by changing who participates in the scientific process.
“Makers just dive in and create creative engineering solutions” says Darlene Cavalier, ASU Professor of Practice, Founder of SciStarter, and co-organizer of the event. “This characteristic mirrors that of the millions of citizen scientists around the world who are contributing to our understanding of the world and how we can solve today’s problems.”
The summit brought together the Maker and Citizen Science community, two “islands of misfits” in the scientific process, to determine how they can work together to move forward.
“We had people participating from government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, NASA, and the National Institutes of Health, along with people from foundations, industry, academia, librarians and local community leaders” says Micah Lande, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering at ASU’s Fulton Schools of Engineering and organizer of the event. The day and a half event consisted of panels, keynotes talks, lightening talks, and informal discussions to shed new light on the connections between the citizen science and maker communities.
The outcomes of this summit will be outlined in detail in a forthcoming white paper, but several outcomes are highlighted below.
- Experts refined a forthcoming SciStarter database of tools to determine how we can better categorize the tools necessary for citizen science projects.
- Panelists shared the educational resources available for maker projects and how these models of education may apply to citizen science.
- Attendees brainstormed how SciStarter can link citizen science project managers with makers who can design and develop tools for their projects.
- Panelists and keynote speakers addressed how we can popularize citizen science taking into account lessons from the popularization of the maker movement.
- Makers shared their innovations and ideas at a nighttime Show and Tell.
- Attendees discussed how to mobilize university resources to create formalized citizen science and maker spaces on campus.
Thank you to all the participants for sparking our curiosity and discussing the future. We can’t wait to see what is next for these communities!
Photos courtesy of Lea Shanley and Kaitlin Vortherms.