Saturday, February 14, 2015

CitSci2015 -- Another Great Success

What a week it's been!  Between the 2015 Citizen Science Conference and the following AAAS conference my days have been completely full.  So many things to see and interesting people to talk to.  There's no way I can sum it all up in just this post.   Instead it's a great opportunity to take the things I've learned and weave them into my posts over the next year.  That will also let me send you directly to copies of the actual talks themselves once they are posted.  But I can still give you some of the most interesting highlights.

For the society and conference itself it's obvious everything is on the right track.  With over 3000 members worldwide joining since last year it's clear people are lining up with support.  And with the marked increase in quality, and quantity, of sessions since the 2012 PPSR conference it's clear how much the field has grown. All very reassuring signs.

From my own perspective the opportunity to continue my own research on partnering citizen science with for-profit businesses was incredible.  I discovered people already attempting some types of the partnerships I've been proposing, others engaged in great conversations on their positive and negative experiences with for-profit businesses, and many looking for my help in applying those principles to their own projects.  That leaves me with ton of great material to sort through as we identify more opportunities for citizen science and for-profit businesses to help each other.

Finally, during CitSci2015 and the ensuing AAAS conference I re-learned one of the most important lessons of citizen science...that an everyday person can participate and be welcomed at this highest levels of science.  From seminars on broadcasting to ET by the top names in astronomy, and updates from leaders of the CERN Large Hadron Collider, I never felt that I couldn't understand or have a reasonable opinion on the topics discussed.  And that's a lesson I hope everyone reading this blog takes away from it.

So let's carry forward the conference charge until the next one in 2017.  Hopefully I'll see you there, but there's a lot of great work to do beforehand!


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