Citizen Science on the Rise: Royal Society of Edinburgh at SHU

Shih Hsin University’s English Corner held an Educational Forum on the Globalized Society on April 12th. Dr. Steven Yearley from the Royal Society of the University of Edinburgh, and Dr. Eugenia Rodrigues, senior researcher from Edinburgh Innovations were invited to share their knowledge on citizen science with SHU students.

Dr. Yearley said that under the evolution of globalized society, people are losing faith in scientific specialists. Thus, many scientists have started to include the public into their research, hoping to spread and spark ideas; “Merging citizens with science projects, in order to create knowledge,” which is the true meaning of citizen science.

What is the qualification of being a citizen scientist? Citizen scientist’s resources are numerous and dispersed, and most of them are wired with internet, Dr. Yearley says, and the resources being provided must be reliable and dependable. He found that although most citizen scientist are volunteers, in the process of researches, they often contribute to new discoveries.

Public Lab, Citizen Science Association, COBWEB (Citizen Observatory Web) are all physical examples of citizen science, Eugenia Rodrigues added. Similar platforms keep developing and hence related subjects are getting more and more attentions. It also helps in urging governments to make regulations affecting the execution of public policies. Furthermore, on the educational side, plenty of schools help students to take a part in citizen science through games.

Nevertheless, the thriving of citizen science has also created some controversies. Dr. Yearley gave an example: On a single project, there might be more than one citizen contributing to the result, which causes problems attributing credit. Also, serious subjects do not always arouse public interest; on the other hand, the objectivity of research connected with everyday life is still to be determined.

SHU invited scholars from the University of Edinburg for a speech on citizen science.

The president of SHU, Dr. Yeong-Chyan Wu welcomed the scholars on behalf of SHU’s faculty.

Dr. Steven Yearley explains citizen science to the students.

Dr. Eugenia Rodrigues gives examples of citizen science platforms.

Rong-xuan Chu(Left), the Director of the Language Center, interacts with a foreign scholar.

The scholars taking pictures with students after the phenomenal speech.

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