Citizen Scientist: An Online Community of Uncommon Ingenuity
The Citizen Scientist is a website that provides a sense of solidarity to aspiring, professional and lay scientists. Here, botanists, meteorologists, chemists, science students, teachers and other interested individuals are united by uncommon ingenuity. Read more about this innovative online community here.
What Is It?
The Citizen Scientist was founded by physicist and winner of the renowned MacArthur Fellowship Shawn Carlson. The organization is based out of Naperville, Illinois, and was a creative offshoot of the Society for Amateur Scientists. Individuals who visit the site can research as well as submit tips, educational articles and detailed photos on a myriad of scientific subjects.
Website Membership Fees and Benefits
While anyone can visit the Citizen Scientist website, there are benefits to paid memberships, which are $25 for students and just under $40 for all others. Members are e-mailed The Citizen Scientist magazine on a monthly basis. They are also invited to attend a community conference, which is held once a year. In addition, online forums and chat rooms are in the works.
Scientific Information and Resources
Regardless of your scientific interests, you're bound to find an article on your favored subject. The Citizen Scientist site has a search bar on the top of each screen that allows you to Google your topic or limit queries to the Society for Amateur Scientists' website (www.sas.org). In addition, there's a 'resources' Web page that provides links to a number of information wells, specialty parts suppliers and field-specific search engines, including:
- Public Library of Science
- Federation of American Scientists
- National Council for Science and the Environment
- American Science and Surplus
Citizen Scientist encourages interested individuals to inquire about a subject they'd like to write about. Focuses should be on providing helpful tips and scientific how-tos. The site also accepts book reviews and informative pieces about related organizations. Currently there are articles on such subjects as at-home lab building, battery powering experimentation, bat colonies and beetle toxicity levels.
Articles should be 500-2,500 words, and photographs or diagrams may need to be included with a submission. Individual pictures of natural elements, animals or climatic events are also welcomed. Submissions are on a voluntary basis and contributors agree to relinquish all creative rights.
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