The Citizen Science Cafe

Come and meet the Scientists and the Volunteers behind the Citizen Science Projects!

The Citizen Science Cafe will take place in the Summit Open Space, which is G04 in the Chadwick Building of UCL, on Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00.

Many Citizen Scientists from around the world will be gathered for the three days of talks and workshops at the Summit, and this is your chance to meet the folks behind the projects in a relaxed ‘Science Cafe’ style atmosphere. Citizen Science project leaders will be sharing their latest news, exchanging ideas, and getting the direct feedback of Volunteers.

Physics Table

Meet Andreea Catalina Marin of the Quantum Moves Project – an online game where everyone can do front line quantum research and can contribute to building tomorrow’s quantum computer. Playing in the various scientific labs, the players are simulating moving individual atoms controlled by a high laser beam from one point to the target state or by overlapping two atoms in the right time intervals. The obtained data is used to improve the algorithms calculations performed in the lab and thus help the ambitious goal of building a scalable quantum computer.

Quantum Moves is part of scienceathome.org, an umbrella project which aims to embrace citizen science to empower everyone to get involved in highly specialized research areas through the use games. The game is developed by CODER, Center for Community Driven Research, which is directed by Jacob Sherson, Assistant Professor at Aarhus University.

 

Meet Robert Simpson of the GalaxyZoo and Milky Way Projects. The Zooniverse is home to the internet’s largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. The Zooniverse began with a single project, Galaxy Zoo , which was launched in July 2007. Now the 4th version of Galaxy Zoo has launched, just a few weeks after the site’s 5th birthday, in which it asks volunteers to help understand how galaxies by classifying them according to their shapes. The Milky Way Project asks volunteers to help look through tens of thousands of images from the Spitzer Space Telescope and to tell what they see in this infrared data, so that we can better understand how stars form.

 

Meet Ben Segal of LHC@home -  a platform for volunteers to help physicists develop and exploit particle accelerators like CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and to compare theory with experiment in the search for new fundamental particles. By contributing spare processing capacity on their home and laptop computers, volunteers may run simulations of beam dynamics and particle collisions in the LHC’s giant detectors.

Ecology / Conservation Table

 

Meet Daniel Lombraña González of the Air Quality with Biomarkers: Lichen Project on Crowdcrafting - Do you think the quality of the air is good in your neighborhood? Do you trust the official statements from your council about it? If you don’t, or if you want a different point of view about the quality of the air where you live, join us at the Citizen Cyberscience Summit Cafe to learn more about how you can measure the quality of the air with just a smartphone and a web browser! Join us at the Cafe and learn more about biomarkers to measure air quality.

 

Meet Yasser Ansari of Project Noah - a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere. A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual “collection” of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.

 

Meet Eduardo Luz of Forest Watchers- a Citizen Science project for forest monitoring. The concepts of volunteer computing and volunteer thinking can be easily applied to the goals of the ForestWatchers project. The original screensaver of SETI@home is replaced by the latest remote sensing image of a forested area. It might be an indigenous reserve in the Amazon, a national forest in Borneo or a park in Queensland. Images are then classified into forest or non-forest with a suitable automated classification algorithm and the accuracy of the resulting map can be further improved by volunteer observation on the Web, or even by addition information provided by volunteers in the field.

 

Humanities Table

Meet Tim Causer  and Kris Grint of Transcribe Bentham - a double award-winning collaborative transcription initiative, which is digitising and making available digital images of Bentham’s unpublished manuscripts through a platform known as the ‘Transcription Desk‘. There, you can access the material and—just as importantly—transcribe the material, to help the work of UCL’s Bentham Project, and further improve access to, and searchability of, this enormously important collection of historical and philosophical material. This is an exciting opportunity to make a genuine difference to research and scholarship by contributing to the production of the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, and to help create for posterity a vast digital repository of Bentham’s writings.

Life Sciences Table


Meet Amy Robinson from the 
EyeWire Project - a game to map the brain from Seung Lab at MIT. Anyone can play and you need no scientific background. Over 100,000 people from 130 countries already do. Together we are mapping the 3D structure of neurons; advancing our quest to understand ourselves.

 

Meet Alexandre Vaugoux of SynBio4All - a platform being built to open up scientific work in synthetic biology to the public by getting them involved in identifying key research projects, that will then be implemented in a certified research lab. The goal is to circumvent the risks involved in do-it-yourself (DIY) biology and to catalyze the research in this emerging field. Through the SynBio4all Platform, citizen scientists will be able to learn about synthetic biology by directing every stage of the research process. Citizen participants begin by learning about the basics of synthetic biology. Once inspired, participants will be able to submit their research ideas to our synthetic biology community forum. The research ideas are next shaped into a testable hypothesis with the help of the SynBio4all community.

 

Meet Philipp Boeing of the Darwin Toolbox Project -  a biotechnology laboratory for citizen scientists. The box contains the basic tools for biotechnology: a gel container and transilluminator to visualize DNA, a PCR machine to selectively copy DNA and a centrifuge. Most importantly, everything is safe, user-friendly, affordable and ready to go. Find out more on  www.darwintoolbox.com  and stay connected on facebook.com/DarwinToolbox  and  twitter.com/DarwinToolbox.

 

Meet Erinma Ochu of Turing’s Sunflowers – a project to discover whether Turing was correct about sunflowers following the Fibonacci sequence – proving that maths is an integral part of nature’s most beautiful creations. The sequence is a set of numbers where each number is the sum of the previous two (ie:¿ 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 etc). Citizen scientists, including many schoolchildren, were asked to provide measurements and data about their sunflowers, particularly the number of spirals running clockwise and anti-clockwise in the sunflower head.

 

Geography Table

Meet Dr. Linda See of the The Geo-Wiki Project -  a tool for improving the current information that we have about global land cover. Although the physical surface is mapped regularly by remote sensing, this information is currently not correct in many places. By using Geo-Wiki to examine satellite imagery and helping us to identify the correct land cover types, we can vastly improve our current maps. These maps are really important for monitoring deforestation, assessing food security and modeling future land cover. Our latest game, called Cropland Capture, invites players to identify cropland areas from satellite imagery and compete for prizes. Come try it out and help us to improve our knowledge of where current crops are grown globally.
Meet Aidan Green from the Met Office WOW Project.  The Weather Observations Website was launched in June 2011 by the Met Office, with support from the Royal Meteorological Society and the Department for Education, for weather observers across the UK – which could include weather reports from you. The purpose of the website is to provide a platform for the sharing of current weather observations from all around the globe, regardless of where they come from, what level of detail or the frequency of reports. WOW has been set up in partnership with the Royal Meteorological Society, the  Department for Education and the Public Weather Service to help coordinate the growth of the amateur observing community in the UK.