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New Zealand building public engagement in science

Science and the knowledge and innovation that flow from scientific progress have a critical role in creating and defining our future Many of today’s most complex decisions (e.g. on public health, natural resources stewardship and communications technology) require us all to weigh scientific evidence and our values. This will be even more so in future years as the world becomes increasingly connected and technology and knowledge advance. As New Zealanders…

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Discover launches the Citizen Science Salon

Starting this month, we welcome you to the Citizen Science Salon—a new print, online and social media initiative brought to you by Discover Magazine and SciStarter, a one-stop shop to find and get involved in projects, and to track and share contributions to science. Each issue of Discover Magazine will feature citizen science reference boxes at the end of select articles. These citizen science alerts will feature projects directly related…

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Asteroid hunter data challenge launches today

In this challenge, we are tasking competitors with developing a significantly improved algorithm to identify asteroids in images from ground-based telescopes. The winning solution will increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computers Asteroids pose both a possible threat and an opportunity for Earth: they could impact us, causing damage, OR possibly be mined for resources that…

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Recent advances in massive, open, online science research

First MOOCs, now MOOLs: Massive Online Open Laboratories Self-assembling RNA molecules present compelling substrates for the rational interrogation and control of living systems. However, imperfect in silico models—even at the secondary structure level—hinder the design of new RNAs that function properly when synthesized. Here, we present a unique and potentially general approach to such empirical problems: the Massive Open Laboratory. The EteRNA project connects 37,000 enthusiasts to RNA design puzzles…

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23andMe Stops Offering Genetic Tests Related To Health

23andMe, the genetic testing startup backed by Google Ventures and Facebook billionaire Yuri Milner, will stop offering test results related to customer’s health in order to comply with a warning letter sent by the Food and Drug Administration on November 22. The company will continue to sell its kits to people who want to use genetics to learn about their ancestry, and to allow customers who bought kits before the…

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Wilson Center issues report on citizen science

Citizen science is one form of open innovation, a paradigm where organizations solicit the efforts of external contributors with unique perspectives who generate new knowledge and technology, or otherwise bolster organizational resources.  Recent executive branch policies encourage and support open innovation in the federal government. The President’s 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government  charged agencies with taking specific action to support transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Similarly, the Obama…

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IRBs and the Future of Citizen Science

uBiome is a citizen science startup that sequences the microbiome, financed entirely by crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a service where people contribute to a project that doesn’t exist, and in return, receive various perks when the product is created. Skipping ahead a bit in the story, we raised over $350,000, the largest successful single citizen science project in history. In putting together our project, we had to consider new ethical and…

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White House Honors “Champions of Change” in Open Science, Citizen Science

The White House Champions of Change program highlights the work of individuals, businesses, and organizations whose accomplishments have positively impacted our communities. On June 25th, the White House honored leaders and innovators in citizen science. Awards went to [quoting from the White House website]: Margaret Gordon Co-founder and co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (EIP), a non-profit that works with neighborhood organizations, physicians, researchers, and public officials to…

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