“In most citizen science projects today, however, amateurs perform rather mundane tasks like documenting things (see above), outsourcing computing power (e.g. SETI@home) or playing games (e.g. Foldit). You can go to the Scientific American’s citizen science webpage and search for the word ‘help’ and you will find that out of 15 featured projects, 13 are prefaced help scientists do something. The division of roles between citizens and real scientists is evident. Citizen scientists perform honey bee tasks. The analytic capacity remains with real researchers. Citizen science today is often a twofold euphemism.
That is not to say that collecting, documenting and counting is not a crucial part of research. In many ways the limited task complexity even resembles the day-to-day business of in-person research teams. Citizen scientists, on the other hand, can work when they want to and on what they want to. That being said, citizen science is still a win win in terms of data collection and citizen involvement.”—Impact of Social Sciences – The great potential of citizen science: restoring the role of tacit knowledge and amateur discovery..
Don’t get me wrong, I understand and see the point the author makes about the division of roles between citizen and real scientists in terms of running analyses, but before anyone complains that citizen scientists don’t get to do anything fun and that their tasks are mundane…take a look at this:
If you’ve never touched one of these in your life, it’s fun for about the first ten minutes. After that, it quickly loses its charm. It basically works similar to this:
Which is gets old pretty quick when you’re adding different solutions, volumes of solutions, etc to a couple
dozen hundred of these:
Personally, I’d rather be counting these guys for Penguin Watch:
Anyone else feel the same?