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Articles, Citizen Cyberscience Summit

Being a citizen scientist – Darlene Cavalier

Friday 18th February

Speaker: Darlene Cavalier

Theme: The citizens of citizen science

Website: http://www.sciencecheerleader.com and scistarter.com

This session is one of three dedicated to the people! The citizens who make things happen like Darlene Cavalier.

Darlene Cavalier is founder of several citizen science websites. The science cheerleader, one of her websites aims at

  • raising interest and understanding science,
  • grow the ranks of citizen science and
  • Encourage people to engage in science

Darlene talked about how to engage people in science projects. A major hurdle is choice and access to the right information – shuffling through thousands of results online (especially is you do not know what the projects do exactly because of language, lingo, etc)

Her website sciStarter.com tackles this – it actually makes a difference, bringing people to scientific projects, which are “translated” and marketed in her website. The projects are marketed in a way that people understand – NOTE: they are not dumbed down, they are explained for all audiences. The information provided tells you what you need to get involved. Darlene has received feedback from the projects telling her that participation in their project has tripled, even quadrupled, in very short amounts of time, thanks to SciStarter marketing.

Sciencecheerleader.com brings two worlds together. What is the best way to get people excited about science? Science cheerleader brings science and the alacrity of cheerleading! NFL and NBA cheerleaders promote science – all cheerleaders have a day job as scientists or engineers and talk to and inspire people around the US, especially little girls.

Darlene also tries to promote and advocate for policy involvement and assessment through public engagement. Some of the involvement includes pilot project testing for technology assessment.



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