SOLVE magazine Issue 03 2021 | Page 25


Scientists have made an interesting discovery about people with no scientific training . Millions of supposedly everyday folk have a flair for scientific discovery . All they need is a supported , dedicated platform that allows them to engage with the process of research .

It ’ s a realisation that emerged in the early 2000s when so-called citizen science quickly gained momentum , courtesy of the internet , and was found to be both accurate and scientifically valid in the classification of astronomical objects achieved with the Galaxy Zoo platform .
Very soon , it became all too clear to the Galaxy Zoo team that users were keen to extend their involvement to other research projects . This realisation coincided with science beginning to generate an explosion of digital data that initially could not be processed by computers and far exceeded researchers ’ ability to inspect it themselves .
Having gained the trust of astronomers , a coalition of Portsmouth and Oxford University researchers decided to plough ahead , creating a portal through which scientists and keen amateurs could join forces to interrogate the nature of the cosmos more extensively . This portal is called Zooniverse .
So far , it has linked more than 2.3 million volunteer researchers from the general public to about 200 science projects in total . Their tasks are primarily focused on providing classifications and analysis – be
We wrote proper science papers about things that armchair astronomers had discovered from their living rooms . It was really amazing .
– Professor Daniel Thomas
ISSUE 03 / 2021