Citizen Science The Way Forward In India

Citizen Science The Way Forward In India
  • Common Bird Monitoring program, a Citizen Science program started in 2012, now has over 2,000 members from 34 states involved in making observations and taking notes about the common birds in their locality. It is now in discussions with Wildlife Institute of India to statistically validate the data.
  • In West, Citizen Science programs are much more established with initiatives like¬†Zooniverse, eBird, etc, where participation has run up to tens of thousands, and the databases so built have received wide recognition.
  • According to experts, the term citizen science will grow to include those that do science. Emphasis is laid on the importance of adopting sound research or monitoring design.
  • The existing projects should be revamped, and redundancy should be eliminated.
  • Developers can also look for new possibilities and opportunities such as oil spills, earthquake, or wild fires for data collection.
  • Networking of CS projects should be increased so that the research can contribute towards better understanding of phenomenon like climate change.
  • Critics believe that amateurs cannot come up with data whose quality is comparable to that obtained by professionals. However, recent studies involving monitoring of sharks have disproved this and have shown that the quality of data obtained by citizen scientists is in fact comparable to ones collected using automated tools.
  • In India, where the concept is yet to catch on, the infinite number of mobile apps and ubiquitous availability of internet technology is not an obstacle, but possibility of involving huge numbers citizens and in data collection and analysis is relatively new.
  • The monopoly of scientists over certain species and areas will be neutralized by CS. These projects should also retain the local nature to some extent to be helpful in imbibing in people the culture of doing science.
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Exams Perspective:

What is Citizen Science?