Archive for Citizen Science

New Publication at the Open Journal of Astrophysics

Posted in OJAp Papers, Open Access, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2022 by telescoper

It’s time yet again to announce a new publication in the Open Journal of Astrophysics! This one is the 2nd paper in Volume 5 (2022) and the 50th in all. We actually published this one a couple of days ago I’ve only just got around to announcing it now.

It’s very nice to mark our 50th publication with two firsts: (1) this is the first ‘Citizen Science’ paper we have published; and (2) it is the first paper in the folder corresponding to the arXiv section on Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP).

The latest publication is entitled The CosmoQuest Moon Mappers Community Science Project: The Effect of Incidence Angle on the Lunar Surface Crater Distribution and is written by Matthew Richardson (Planetary Sciences Institute, Tucson = PSI), Andrés A. Plazas Malagón (Princeton & Astronomical Society of the Pacific=ASP; corresponding author), Larry A. Lebofsky (PSI), Jennifer Grier (PSI), Pamela Gay (PSI & ASP), Stuart J. Robbins (Southwest Research Institute) and The CosmoQuest Team.

Here is a screen grab of the overlay which includes the abstract:

You can click on the image to make it larger should you wish to do so. You can find the arXiv version of the paper here. As I mentioned above this is the first publication in the folder marked Earth & Planetary Astrophysics.

There is a nice twitter thread by the corresponding author explaining what the paper is about:

If you click on the above it will take you to the rest of the Twitter thread.

The Unknown Citizen

Posted in Poetry, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by telescoper

I thought of this poem when I was moaning the other day about the widespread use of the term “Citizen Science” to describe, e.g., the admirable activities of the Zooniverse. One aspect of their work, planethunters, employs enthusiastic amateurs volunteers from the general public to search for signs of exoplanets, for example, with a notable success during the recent series BBC Stargazing Live.

The problem I have with using the term “Citizen Science” is that it logically excludes those of us who happen to be professional scientists; we are citizens too! At least I hope we are…

Not that I’m pedantic or anything.

I like the word amateur which is derived from the latin verb amare (“to love”) and hence properly means someone who does a task out of love, rather than for money. I’d agree, though, that this has acquired negative connotations of amateurishness (i.e. “unprofessional”) so is probably unsuitable for modern use. But what other word would be better? I just had a look at my thesaurus and it suggests, e.g. “votary”, “layperson” and even “groupie” although I don’t think the latter will catch on!

Anyway, as you will see,  none of this has really got anything to do with the poem, which I’m just posting because the word “Citizen” made me remember it. Apologies for the small font size, but I wanted to ensure that the line breaks didn’t get messed up.

(To JS/07/M/378 This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

by W.H. Auden (1907-1973)