Monday, September 3, 2012

Citizen Science Supports the Smithsonian

Atrium of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Photo Courtesy:
The past few years I've written about the field of citizen science and highlighted interesting projects that anyone can participate in. These projects need your help to understand our planet, explore the universe, and make our world a better place. And you've already responded generously with your time and effort.  Now I'm asking for your charitable help too.

All through September I'm starting the first Annual "Citizen Science Supports the Smithsonian" Drive.  We need to support our local museums that introduce citizens to the world of science, and we need to show them the power of citizen science to invigorate their research mission.  They have large collections of specimens and data waiting to reveal their secrets...the one thing they don't have is the scientific workforce to analyze all of it.  So on behalf of museums everywhere I'm asking for donations to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  It is the largest and most well-known museum in America and is free for all visitors.  They also run a world-class scientific enterprise.  Making them the the perfect beneficiary for this drive.

To help with the drive I've partnered with Network For Good for all the logistical aspects.  Just click the large "Donate" button on the right side of this blog to go to their web site and make a donation.  None of your money goes to me..NetworkforGood handles it all so you don't need to worry about how the money is administered.  From there it goes straight to the Smithsonian.  Meaning all your money supports the cause with safety, security, and as few hoops as possible.

In connection to the drive I will also be highlighting many citizen science project currently run by museums and discussing the many ways museums can expand their citizen science offerings in new, exciting directions. There will also be some analysis of the things museums do well and how they can continue to improve. So even if you didn't know the good things Smithsonian and other institutions perform you'll hopefully be a believer by October.

Lastly, September is also the final month of the Smithsonian's fiscal year, the time when they are most in need and can best use the funding we provide.  So won't you make a donation?  Every little bit helps.


  1. When you travel to the Washington D.C. area then going to the Smithsonian Institution is a must. With all of the the education, history and the massive amount of artifacts like the Hope Diamond it will be place that you will want to come back to again and again. The first time you go to the National Mall area it's quite overwhelming when you all of the museums and galleries, it's hard to believe that most of it is for free.

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