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Markus Lemmens, New York, 28.01.2014

Champions of Change

Geschichte jeder Pflanze verstehen

Amerika honoriert traditionell Bürgerengagements:
Das Programm „Nominate a Champion of Change“ ehrte
auch Citizen Scientists – ein Blick auf Citizen Science

 

Im Weißen Haus genießen Bürger, die sich im Land einsetzen, große Beachtung. US-Präsident Barack Obama bekommt auf eigenen Wunsch täglich zehn Briefe aus der Bevölkerung vorgelegt. Das gibt ihm seinen Angaben zufolge ein Gefühl für deren Bedürfnisse, Probleme und Wünsche. Ihm geht diese Arbeit nicht aus. Denn über 65.000 Briefe gelangen jede Woche ins Weiße Haus. Davon hat auch die amerikanische Citizen Science-Bewegung profitiert. Zwölf Citizen Scientists sind 2013 als „Champions of Change“ ausgewählt und gewürdigt worden.

Foto: Science Cheerleaders

Im Rahmen der Initiative „Nominate a Champion of Change“ wurden vor einigen Monaten die Leistungen der zwölf Bürger geehrt, die als Citizen Scientists aktiv sind. Das Siegel honoriert Leistungen, die zu einer Veränderung des Alltages, der Gesellschaft und Lebensumstände beitragen. Den US-Bürgerwissenschaftlern wird von oberster politischer Stelle diese Wirkung zugetraut.

Die Auszeichnung ist ein Baustein in einer Reihe von Ereignissen, die seit geraumer Zeit eine Akzentuierung der Themen Bildung, Ausbildung, Forschung und auch gesellschaftliche Dialoge über wichtige Fragen der Zeit in den USA erkennen lassen. Citizen Science, ein Beitrag zur Öffnung des wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisprozesses passt dazu. In Amerika gibt es ein Vielfaches an Aktivitäten im Vergleich zu Deutschland. Mit den Science Cheerleaders kommt die Bewegung sogar in Football-Stadien an – vielleicht wäre das für die Bundesliga ein Vorbild. Die Wissenschaft in den USA jedenfalls ist für diese Zusammenarbeit offen. Zusätzliches Wissen und Daten fließen in die Suche nach Problemlösungen ein.

In Deutschland widmen sich einige Initiativen dem Thema. Damit können Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft enger verbunden werden. Das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung ist bestrebt, Citizen Science auch wissenschaftspolitisch sichtbar zu machen. Neben Wissenschaft im Dialog, dem Naturkundemuseum Berlin, Citizen Science Germany, der Leibniz- und der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft arbeiten auch viele einzelne Wissenschaftler daran, die Idee in Deutschland populär zu machen.

 

Lehrerfortbildung und Platz in den Stadien

Auf Websites in den USA tut sich zu Beginn 2014 einiges. Hier ist die Bewegung sehr viel weiter als in Deutschland. So lädt die Citizen Science Academy beispielsweise dazu ein, das Citizen Science-Denken und aussagekräftige Projekte in die Schulen zu bringen. Lehrer können zum Frühjahr in einem Kurs für 35 Dollar lernen, wie sie ihren Unterricht anreichen können. Die Academy sagt dazu: „Explore many ways in which Citizen Science can be incorporated into your classroom or institution. Developed and facilitated by leaders in Citizen Science, our Professional Development courses also provide opportunities to earn optional continuing education credits.”

Und die Mission der Citizen Science Academy lautet demzufolge: “Provide online professional development resources for educators to support effective implementation of Citizen Science projects and activities that focus on ecology and environmental sciences.”

Zurück zu den ausgezeichneten Citizen Scientists des Weißen Hauses.  Vier Themen wurden abgedeckt: Umwelt, Astronomie, Geologie und Tiere.

Einige Beispiele zur Vertiefung:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/citizen-scientists

Margaret Gordon: Co-founder and co-director of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (EIP), a non-profit that works with neighborhood organizations, physicians, researchers, and public officials to ensure West Oakland residents have a clean environment, safe neighborhoods, and access to economic opportunity.

Dr. Sandra Henderson: She serves as the Director of Citizen Science at the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Boulder, CO. One of her favorite parts of this job is overseeing NEON’s Project BudBurst (budburst.org), a national citizen program that was founded on the premise that every plant has a story to tell about our changing environments.

John Rowden: He works to empower people to protect their environment by including them in the process of studying it. Working for the New York City chapter of the National Audubon Society, he has reached across the five boroughs to include people in scientific research.  For example, he trained, mentored and employed Bronx teenagers to collect data on wildlife in their neighborhoods and has included members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in monitoring the beaches of Jamaica Bay by providing on-site interpretation.

Dolores Hill: She is a meteoriticist and co-lead, with Carl Hergenrother, of Target Asteroids!, a citizen science project of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, led by Dante Lauretta of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona.

Ariel Waldman: She is the founder of Spacehack.org, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the global instigator of Science Hack Day, an event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend.

Jason Osborne: He is the president and co-founder of Paleo Quest, a 501c3 non-profit citizen science organization designed to advance the sciences of paleontology and geology through material contributions to museum collections, field exploration, scientific publication and the advancement of science education.

Michael P. Cohn: He has volunteered many hours with the Cornell Ornithology Lab to install bird feeders and housings and monitor nests, and with the Peregrine Fund’s American Kestrel Project, a long-term nation-wide citizen science research initiative to uncover the causes of the alarming decline of kestrels across the country. As a military veteran who served in Afghanistan, Mike understands the stress and anxiety experienced by returning soldiers; thus, he recently initiated Soldiers2Scientists, a citizen science project for returning soldiers to decompress in the American Great Outdoors, while conducting meaningful work that serves to protect and preserve our country’s resources.

Karen Oberhauser: She is a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on monarch butterfly ecology. Her strong interest in promoting scientific and environmental literacy led to the development of a science education program that involves courses for teachers and opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences.

Julia K. Parrish: She is the Associate Dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington in Seattle. In addition to her academic duties, Julia is the founder and Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), involving hundreds of coastal community members from California to Alaska in rigorous citizen science centered on ocean health. Together, Julia and her citizen team have mapped the influence of a changing climate, created the definitive baseline for environmental catastrophes from oil spills to harmful algal blooms, and connected people to the natural history and cool science of the beaches they love.

Eri Gentry: She is an economist-turned-biotech entrepreneur and advocate for Citizen Science. She is the Founding President of BioCurious and past CEO, Cofounder of Livly, a non-profit cancer research company. Livly started in a Mountain View, California garage and soon built a community of both amateurs and professional scientists that completely outgrew its capacity to support collaborative work. Hence the need for BioCurious, the world's first hackerspace model for biotechnology, now one of the largest DIYbio organizations in the world. Eri is a co-host of the Quantified Self and is the youngest board member of SynBERC, the NSF-funded center for research in synthetic biology.

Greg Gage: He helps kids investigate the neuroscience in their own backyards and classrooms. During grad school, he co-founded a DIY Neuroscience company Backyard Brains with his labmate, Tim Marzullo. The goal of his organization is to produce advanced neuroscience equipment and experiments, but make them available and affordable to everyone. Electrophysiology (the electrical study of living nervous tissue) is typically only done in graduate labs. But now, students down to the 5th grade are recording "spikes" from neurons in the classroom!

 

Die besten Websites 2013

Jährlich zeichnet SciStarter über seinen „Project Finder“ die populärsten Websites aus. 2013 gilt wieder als spannendes Jahr der Citizen Science Bewegung. Die 13 meistbesuchten Seiten wurden aufgelistet (http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/01/top-13-citizen-science-projects-2013/#sthash.Bh6Wae64.dpuf).

Zwei der Projekte stechen heraus – wobei alle Seiten einen Besuch lohnen:

Eye wire: Scientists need your help mapping the neural connections of the retina, and all they’re asking is for participants to play a fun game of coloring brain images. EyeWire is a great way to learn about the brain and help scientist understand how the nervous system work (http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/01/top-13-citizen-science-projects-2013/#sthash.Bh6Wae64.dpuf).

MERCCURI: Project MERCCURI is an investigation of how microbes found in buildings on Earth (in public buildings, stadiums, etc.,) compare to those on board the biggest building ever built in space – the International Space Station (ISS). Participants collected microbes from stadiums, cell phones and shoes, and those samples were mailed to the University of California Davis to be sequenced and analyzed. Results will be shared on SciStarter so you can compare your samples to those from other locations, including the ISS! (http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/01/top-13-citizen-science-projects-2013/#sthash.Bh6Wae64.dpuf)

MERCCURI ist deshalb interessant, weil es für Deutschland den Sport mit Citizen Science verbindet. Das könnte – denkt man an Fußball – Nachahmer finden. Die Breitenwirkung wäre enorm. Cheerleader – ein Traum vieler amerikanischer Mädchen und junger Frauen – erfüllen in ihrer Rolle auch einen wissenschaftlichen Teil-Auftrag. Nicht nur viele von ihnen haben ihre Laufbahn über die Universitäten genommen, manche sind sogar Wissenschaftlerinnen geworden. Und die Beispiele finden sich inklusive Videomaterial unter: http://www.sciencecheerleader.com

 

Quellen:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions/citizen-scientists

http://citizenscienceassociation.org/

http://scistarter.com/blog/2014/01/top-13-citizen-science-projects-2013/

http://www.citizenscienceacademy.org/content/about-us

http://www.sciencecheerleader.com/2014/01/georgia-tech-cheerleaders-participate-in-citizen-science-project-merccuri/

 

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