Baltimore’s community lab puts the scientific method in the people’s hands – The Washington Post

“Huon de Kermadec, originally from France, has been collaborating with a group of other “biohackers” for about two years to develop an alternative. The Open Insulin Project springs from the idea that people with diabetes should have access to affordable treatment methods outside the traditional pharmacologic brands, which can cost hundreds of dollars per vial.

If successful, the project could enable diabetics to set up their own low-cost insulin production systems at home.

A 30-something biochemist with a doctorate, Huon de Kermadec started working on open-source insulin in Oakland, Calif. But when his wife accepted a job at Johns Hopkins University, Huon de Kermadec relocated his workspace to the Baltimore Under Ground Science Space (BUGSS), a community lab designed with such purposes in mind.

BUGSS operates under the ethos that people other than university faculty members and students should have access to research lab space. Do-it-yourself biologists, hobbyists, and high school and home-schooled students have made BUGSS their official headquarters and classroom as they pursue advanced projects without much red tape involved….”

What is Open Science: even a 12-year old child can participate in creation of a scientific article – YouTube

“Our first introduction video is dedicated to the problem of peer review process in scientific communication. In the view of recent scandals with articles retraction from prestigious journals such as hydroxychloroquine study from the Lancet journal, we must overview the need of peer review in the current scholarly publishing system. What is a peer review and why does it prevent our scientific progress and citizens participation in it? What is Open science and Open peer review? And why do we need to transform our science to be open?

To answer these questions, we invited to the interview Matheus Pereira Lobo, Brazilian physicist and mathematician, professor at the Federal University of Tocantins, co-editor of the Open Journal of Mathematics and Physics. He shares his thoughts about peer review process and tells about the alternative, his Open Journal of Mathematics and Physics which welcomes collaboration not only with his colleagues but with the broad public.”

iNaturalist – SciStarter

“iNaturalist is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. It is also a crowdsourced species identification system and an organism occurrence recording tool. You can use it to record your own observations, get help with identifications, collaborate with others to collect this kind of information for a common purpose, or access the observational data collected by iNaturalist users.

From hikers to hunters, birders to beach-combers, the world is filled with naturalists, and many of us record what we find. What if all those observations could be shared online? You might discover someone who finds beautiful wildflowers at your favorite birding spot, or learn about the birds you see on the way to work. If enough people recorded their observations, it would be like a living record of life on Earth that scientists and land managers could use to monitor changes in biodiversity, and that anyone could use to learn more about nature.

That’s the vision behind So if you like recording your findings from the outdoors, or if you just like learning about life, join us!”

In Canada, Inuit Communities Are Shaping Research Priorities

“Bell’s own claim to fame is SmartICE. Created in collaboration with the Nunatsiavut government, SmartICE integrates traditional ice knowledge with real-time data gathered from sensors embedded in and pulled across sea ice. Piloted in Nain beginning in 2012, SmartICE aims to generate a reliable map of travel hazards, accessible by desktop or smartphone.

SmartICE isn’t alone. Over the past decade, the Nunatsiavut government has redirected outside researchers’ efforts toward Inuit priorities, including mental health, marine pollution in wild foods, housing shortages, and, of course, sea ice. In doing so, Nunatsiavut has been an early contributor to the change now spreading across Canada’s four Inuit regions, which altogether encompass more than 1.4 million square miles, from the Alaskan border to the Atlantic. The consequences could transform the conduct of Canadian and international researchers in the north — a part of the world that holds vital clues about the future of a warming planet, but where the legacy of science-as-usual remains shadowed by centuries of mistrust, anger, and exploitation….

Six years before Nunatsiavut formed, the majority-Inuit territory of Nunavut was created in Canada’s high Arctic, and Canada’s other two Inuit regions are today moving toward limited self-government. All four regions come together as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a group that represents Canadian Inuit interests federally. In 2018, ITK launched the National Inuit Strategy on Research (NISR), aiming to elevate research self-determination and give Inuit communities greater say in the research that takes place in their homeland….

As with SmartICE, his research involves deploying buoys to develop more accurate predictive models of sea-ice coverage. In order to work in Nunatsiavut, he shares data freely with community members, and tends to place buoys where the community requests….”

A Public Data Archive for the Italian Radio Telescopes – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  The amount of data delivered by modern instrumentation and observing techniques is bringing radio astronomy in the era of Big Data, and the nowadays widely adopted Open Data policies allow free and open access to data from many radio astronomy facilities. A fundamental ingredient to enable Open Science in the radio astronomical community and to engage also public participation (the so called Citizen Science) is thus the availability of public archives in which data can be accessed and searched with modern software tools. A web-based, VO-compliant public archive has been built to host data from the Italian radio telescopes managed by the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The archive main features consist in the capability to handle the various types of data coming from the different observing instrumentation at the telescopes; the adoption of a policy to guarantee the data proprietary period; the accessibility of data through a web interface and the adoption of VO standards to allow for successful scientific exploitation of the archive itself in the data mining era. We present the progress status of the public Data Archive for the Italian radio telescopes being developed to provide the international community with a state-of-the-art archive for radio astronomical data.


Data Sharing in the Context of Health-Related Citizen Science – Mary A. Majumder, Amy L. McGuire, 2020

“As citizen science expands, questions arise regarding the applicability of norms and policies created in the context of conventional science. This article focuses on data sharing in the conduct of health-related citizen science, asking whether citizen scientists have obligations to share data and publish findings on par with the obligations of professional scientists. We conclude that there are good reasons for supporting citizen scientists in sharing data and publishing findings, and we applaud recent efforts to facilitate data sharing. At the same time, we believe it is problematic to treat data sharing and publication as ethical requirements for citizen scientists, especially where there is the potential for burden and harm without compensating benefit.


Covid-19 Can’t Stop Citizen Science

“As the Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to stay inside, citizen scientists have increasingly turned to online projects. Although crowdsourcing data analysis isn’t always perfect, the move is a boon for some scientists, since it’s helping process backlogs of information during what would otherwise be a time of doldrums for their research. Other researchers are using citizen science to go after Covid-19 directly, crowdsourcing data to form insights on the rapidly developing global emergency. Their message: everyone has something to contribute….”

Open science takes on the coronavirus pandemic

“Nextstrain is just one example of how an open ethos has driven the scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Academics, online data repositories and home hobbyists with 3D printers are adopting new practices of rapid data sharing and collaboration that are appropriate to the urgency of the crisis. Many hope it will change the way science is done even after the pandemic subsides….”

Open science takes on the coronavirus pandemic

“Nextstrain is just one example of how an open ethos has driven the scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Academics, online data repositories and home hobbyists with 3D printers are adopting new practices of rapid data sharing and collaboration that are appropriate to the urgency of the crisis. Many hope it will change the way science is done even after the pandemic subsides….”

Volunteers Flock To Sign Up As Citizen Scientists | Here & Now

“Since the coronavirus crisis began, they’ve seen a huge increase in participation, Trouille says. There’s typically about a hundred thousand classifications a day across all the research projects worldwide. But last week, the participation rate shot up by about a third, according to Trouille. She thinks it’s because more people are home and looking for ways to connect and have an impact.

Each project has a forum where the research team and volunteers can chat with each other about the science, unusual objects they’re seeing in the data or just their lives in general….”

Flatten the curve, grow the care: What are we learning from Covid-19 – Pirate Care

“This is a collective note-taking effort to document and learn from the organising of solidarity in response to the urgency of care precipitated by the pandemic of Coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2). The first round of notes, thoughts, protocols and propositions, or sessions as we categorise them here in the syllabus, reflects, largely, the experience of organising amidst outbreak and lockdown in Italy. In keeping with the spirit of this syllabus, we focus on those practices that foreground care, labour, technology and disobedience. They are meant to offer both practical guidance and inspiration to organising and living with the outbreak elsewhere. But are also meant to help articulate demands to shift our societies from capitalism, productivism, patriarchy and racism to societies centred on collectivising the shared task of regenerating the interdependent well-being of humans and nature….”

Research to Results: An Analysis of Citizen-Generated Open Data | Data-Smart City Solutions

“Once Meijer and Potjer finished their empirical analysis of the 25 cases, Meijer and Potjer concluded that citizen-generated open data can certainly provide improved information for public governance, but concurrently can also be used to challenge current power structures and city decisions. As a result, Meijer and Potjer posited that the addition of citizen-generated open data to public governance should be viewed as both “collaboration and contestation.”

For example, while citizen-generated open data produces data as a foundation for collaborative governance, it can also strengthen and work with governance by providing new checks and balances based on the data collected. Meijer and Potjer explained that to understand the role of citizens in this new environment of government with social media, is to know that the public governance will include both collaboration and conflict.

Meijer and Potjer’s second conclusion states that citizens engage in the generation of data to both collaborate with their governments and challenge current government positions and policies. There are distinctions between friendly, adversarial and neutral interactions—yet all of these interactions better inform governments on what their citizens are looking for. However, the researchers both concede that the impact of the data is too narrow and still in the exploratory phase.

In the end, despite realizing that citizen-generated open data can also challenge the positions and structure of city government, the greater amount of information and “multi-actor collaboration” utilizing that data does indeed help governments make more accurate data-based decisions for their cities by taking in both suggestions and criticism from the new form of data….”

The power of open data to transform and engage communities: a call for ideas – Knight Foundation

“But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The power of data — especially “open” data, made available by government and, in some cases, private companies — also extends to the possibility of better informing and engaging residents, encouraging them to participate in more civically-focused activities.

It’s in this context that Knight Foundation is issuing an open call for ideas that advance the concept of open data and civic engagement to encourage a new set of transformative approaches for using, understanding and taking action with public data. Selected recipients can earn a share of up to $1 million in funding for their ideas and projects….”