Monday, 26 July 2010

Question (& Answers) from Julia Wilkinson

The Citizen Cyberscience Centre caught up with Julia Wilkinson from Galaxy Zoo who will be attending the summit in London next September. We asked her two simple questions to help explain her motivation to be involved in the summit but also citizen cyberscience itself.

Why are you going to the Summit?
I have been invited to attend the summit and take part in the panel discussion about volunteering and Citizen Science. I have been involved in various Citizen Science projects for the last 3 years and currently co-moderate the Solar Stormwatch and Moon Zoo Forums. I didn’t study science at school and have always regretted it. My career took me in a completely different direction. Citizen Science has offered me a second chance and a way to contribute to scientific research without a PhD. It has also rekindled an interest in studying science, specifically Astronomy, which I am now doing with the Open University. I am looking forward to discussing the benefits of Citizen Science with others and spreading the word!

What do you plan to talk about at the Summit?
I have 25 years experience of training and managing volunteers in the not-for-profit sector and as a consequence I am well aware of the huge benefits (as well as the downside) of using volunteers, in particular their recruitment, motivation and retention. These are the same issues faced by Citizen Science projects. Now I am a volunteer myself I hope to share some of my observations and swap ideas about how to get the best from Citizen Science volunteers and how to manage this vast resource in a way that will enhance the Citizen Science experience for everyone involved.

To learn more about Julia and the wonderful people over at Zooniverse did a full interview with her at the end of last year.

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