Community Science Labs

I’ve been thinking about things like Bioblitzes, ladybugs, phenology and other citizen science topics and it struck me that community based science labs would be a great resource for these types of projects. And I’m not thinking of a science museum/interactive science center but more along the lines of community technology centers– a place that would provide the tools for community members to engage in science, in their community. Would ready access to the tools encourage more participation? And would such centers foster and help to spawn community based science investigations?

At the, somewhat recent, Citizen Science Toolkit conference, one of the questions (among many) was about the necessity of having a “scientist” involved in the project. It’s an interesting question – does citizen science need a scientist? Given my pre-disposition, I would tend to argue that science can (and does) occur in the absence of scientists. This may seem unrelated to the first paragraph but there is a connection, because I could see community based science centers spawning community investigations….community science projects….which might or might not have a certified “scientist” at the helm.

If anyone out there knows of thriving community science labs I’d like to hear or know of them…..

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