About collaborative sciences

Introducing collaborative sciences

Through sharing of resources, collaborative sciences allow participants throughout the world to work together on one single experiment. Collaborative science, also known as “community science” or “crowd science”, rely on various stakeholders in the community, such as enthusiasts, enlightened amateurs and scientists, to produce scientific knowledge.
This new way to work is essential for promoting knowledge transfer and speeding up the development of scientific experiments.

Participate in the booming Collaborative science!

Collaborative science allow us to share our resources and let participants worldwide work together on one experiment. Collaborative science programs are multiplying as well as the number of participants. Scientists often initiate such research, but citizens can also initiate it, for example in the Erin Brockovich’s case. Sciences Shops, set by universities or NGOs, are supporting this trend, by providing appropriate resources for ordinary citizens to launch their own collaborative science studies. Collaborative science is increasingly promoted through publications and reports as well as guidance books. It is also receiving growing institutional support, particularly through funding.

Join us and contribute to collaborative science!

Collaborative science is made possible by recent advances in Internet and network technologies. Some of those studies may require a collaborative science kit (often available on Open Hardware), or building a device (birdhouse, for example), or even use a phone App. Depending on their scientific objectives, these campaigns may cover a set of region or the entire world. Translation efforts have been made. Collaborative science portals have been developed (some in multi-languages) and cover many science fields.

Three ways to become involved!

By using this collaborative method contributors can be involved in different meaningful ways. In this article, we have broken down them in three trends:

  • Focused on collecting scientific data. Based on their observation, contributors have to identify, count and geolocate a species to monitor its evolution (e.g. Christmas bird count). These studies have provided essential data to monitor a strong decline in species or a multiplication of opportunistic species. In astronomy field, contributors have to measure and geolocate their night sky brightness observations in order to map it (Globeatnight) or even observe at an asteroid to determine its shape (Sylvia asteroid, January 2013). Collecting scientific data may require the use of measuring equipment, such as when monitoring air pollution (Citizen Air, e.g.). Data collected by volunteers may be pooled together, for example between people suffering a specific condition (diabetes, kidney failure, etc.), or as for crowd-based epidemiology.
  • Focused on the analysis of scientific data. By pooling our resources, for example computational time - so called distributed computing – with a network of Internet-connected volunteers’ computers, Seti@Home project analyzed, for 21 years, radio signals coming from space to search for hypothetical extra-terrestrial life. With GalaxyZoo, data analysis is done by the participants in order to classify galaxies according to their shapes.
  • Focus on creating scientific results and solutions. Here, all your human intelligence and skill are called upon! With Fold It you will be able to share your human ingenuity to optimize the shape of proteins used in biomedical research.

Even if your take part is only one of them, these studies often span several years with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of contributors. Legends’ Lab was designed to help you discover this new scientific approach, and we intend to develop educational collaborative science experimentations.


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