Joho the Blog[2b2k] Suggestions wanted: Amateur scientists - Joho the Blog

[2b2k] Suggestions wanted: Amateur scientists

For the section of my book I’m currently writing, I’m looking for examples of contributions to science by amateurs in the Age of the Web. These can be crowd-sourcings, individuals with ideas or data that pushed a science forward, or some category I am not yet considering. (I’ve already briefly noted Make and Maker Faire. I’ve also spent some time in the book on Innocentive and other contests, but if you have a particular good example don’t assume I already know about it!)

I’d be grateful for any ideas or suggestions. Thanks!

16 Responses to “[2b2k] Suggestions wanted: Amateur scientists”

  1. A great example is and the offshoot projects.

  2. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in general ( is another great example. Their Project FeederWatch ( has been very successful.

    These are more of the slow-and-steady kind of contributions to science by amateurs, although I’m sure the scientists involved would say that these projects have been great jumps forward for them.

  3. Project Noah an iphone app to gather species data


    Amphibious Architecture is a cool project that measures water quality, fish presence & human interest in the east river

    and, although not really contribution of science,
    has interesting projects in the amateurs in science dialogue space

  4. whoops i forgot that last link


  5. and the first two, apparently…

  6. Synchronicitously, Science released a paper today on a pulsar discovered by way of the [email protected] project:

    I imagine the other @Home projects could provide additional examples.

  7. Excellent! Thank you!

    But don’t feel like you have to leave it here…

  8. This is the link about the [email protected] project Science sent me in their daily news email.

  9. @dgovoni has a great list at . See also for a few more.

  10. In general, I didn’t find scientists very cooperative or interested in amateur science, especially not in cases of practical or science-crossing research (I did some on semantic knowledge management (artificial memory) blending in computer science, philosohpy, and psychology).

  11. Amateurs have been finding planets lately:





    (PS I see what you did here. Social “search” works nicely here, but is over-touted elsewhere.)

  12. Here’s an example that may stretch the concept of “amateur”, John Graham-Cumming was trained in mathematics and computer science, but not in climate science. Thanks to open climate data, he discovered and corrected some errors in temperature data records hosted by the UK Met Office.


  14. oh and lots of DIY bio news here! (from the DIY Bio group here in new york)

  15. oh and lots of garage biology news here! (from the DIY Bio group here in new york)

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