ScienceBloggers discuss citizen science and share their adventures as DIY experimenters.

Jim Fiore of Dr. John Bushwells Chimpanzee Refuge tests his hand and body coordination while playing his electronic drums in various configurations.

Mac Cowell’s DIYBio organization aims to help non-academic, non-industrial scientists practice their craft—whether that’s sequencing DNA, engineering arsenic-sensing bacteria, or designing a device that kills cancer cells.

The ScienceBloggers, too, advocate citizen science (and occasionally partake in their own DIY-science experiments): 

  • DIY apiology
    In September, Janet Stemwedel discussed the challenges involved in the Great Sunflower Project, sponsored by scientists at San Francisco State University, in which citizen-volunteers plant sunflowers and then report the number and kinds of bees that visit them. One of the hurdles, Janet explains, “was working out what sorts of observations would be informative and practical to get from the non-scientist volunteers (who, after all, probably have other things they need to do besides sitting amongst the sunflowers all day waiting for bees).”
  • DIY titration No listing of ScienceBloggers’ DIY science projects would be complete without mention of Janet’s Friday Sprog Blogging. She recently taught the two sprogs to make a chemical indicator out of red cabbage and hot water.
  • DIY astronomy Last August, Josh Rosenau and a few hundred amateur astronomers (some with homemade telescopes!) stayed up all night at the Chabot Observatory, in Oakland, CA, watching the Earth slide between the Sun and the Moon.
  • DIY neuro-muscular experiments Last year, Jim Fiore of Dr. John Bushwells Chimpanzee Refuge wrote a four-part series on experiments testing his hand and body coordination while playing his electronic drums in various configurations.
  • DIY specimen preservation This fall, just in time for Halloween, Jessica Palmer of bioephemera gave instructions for bottling your own “mad-scientist monstrosities” (a fun project for the citizen-scientist, or citizen-artist, or citizen-scientist-artist).
  • Originally published December 4, 2008

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