There are no second-class citizens in science. So goes the argument during the Commonwealth Club lecture, Backyards, Beaches, Birds and Bees: Citizen Science. SFSU biology professor Gretchen LeBuhn and UC Davis education professor Heidi Ballard have a conversation on public participation in scientific research (otherwise known as citizen science) and how people, technology, and crowd-sourcing are shaping our understanding of science. By communities taking more initiative in understanding their surroundings, citizens become empowered to improve their environment and recognize potential threats to the well-being of their neighborhoods. LeBuhn is the director of the Sunflower Project, the largest citizen science endeavor on pollinators, which encourages people to observe the behavior of bees in their backyard. Ballard researches the nuances behind citizen science and why it matters, and how individuals can become scientists themselves to more effectively serve their own needs. Terrence Gosliner, science and research dean of the California Academy of Sciences, will moderate the dialogue.
Mon., Aug. 26, 2013