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and that's science..

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One science teacher is using cycling to teach advanced physics to 14 and 15 year olds, and it is working wonders! The teens are empowered to discover how the world around them works. I expect that this class may give rise to some great citizen scientists!

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Do you have a bird feeder? New study using crowd-sourced data to explain how to enjoy feeding the birds while keeping your feathered friends safe. 

Hats off to +Jonathan Trinastic for reporting, +Steven Spence for photographing, and the Canadian citizen scientists who gathered the data!

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Nature photographer +Steven Spence wanted to know how and why leaves turn different colors in the fall, so he decided to find out. Check out the results in these stunningly beautiful photos and the science behind them! If there are any citizen science projects pertaining to this subject, GotScience.Org would like to hear about them.

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De-legitimizing Citizen Science?

I'd like to generate some discussion here regarding the project below.

As I said in comments on this post:

Real science starts with real hypotheses that are devised and initiated by something that real scientists actually want to know.  You already know what will happen here. Your underlying objective is to somehow prove to others that you are right and they are wrong.

The two issues for observers here are:

1. Some members of the public might be confused into thinking that this is a real controversy, thus actually accentuating confusion about GMOs.

2. Others may come to think of Citizen Science as something biased, with innately politically driven objectives.  This could de-legitimize other more scientifically valid citizen science studies.

For potential participants:
3. If you lure people in on what they then come to see as non legitimate goals, they are more likely to feel deceived and angry than they are convinced by science. 

I am involved with a group doing citizen science following marine life.  This requires training by professional scientists, who are experts in the field to follow strict protocols.  (In this case, I am a citizen because I am a volunteer, and not a marine biologist).  Most definitely not a situation in which you are luring the public in  on a study that you know to be based on a hypothesis that you know to be trumped up and phony.  I think that you are the ones that are confusing the objectives of citizen science, as you have a definite political and policy oriented objective here.  In my opinion, this could do the credibility of scientist and citizen science  a great disservice, and de-legitimatize such efforts.

I think that there might be some educational value to a well designed parody, but that has to be one where people realize very quickly that they have been had.  The Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax is an example of this.   As presented here, I'm concerned that too time is spent on confusing people into thinking that real scientists think that there is an actual need for such a study.

The first thing to remember, is that according to +Dan Kahan people are remarkably uniformed when it comes to GMOs.   Thus it is entirely possible in promoting this to create doubt where none existed before.

For those that actually stick around long enough to figure out the details,  I fear that that will have a negative effect not so much on anti-GMO attitudes as it will science and the scientists involved.

Additionally many people who are against GMO corn are really not against the science of genomics, they are against applications of that science as enacted by large corporations.  King Corn, as played out in the American Midwest has a lot of deleterious effects.   Stopping GMOs then becomes an expedient  way of stopping corporate non-sustainable agriculture.  This is sort of like the way forest clear-cuts can be stopped by a spotted owls nest.  It isn't really a reflection of science, but rather easy policy implementations.

Again, I'd urge you to take into account how the message of this study will be casually heard by non participating members of the public.  I think it is likely to hurt, not help.
Curious about GMO's and want to do some citizen science? Fund this experiment and do something about it. Great idea +Karl Haro von Mogel +Kevin Folta +Anastasia Bodnar 

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I love this accessible (and fun) explanation of what "theory" means in scientific terms!

A warm welcome to Dr. Joe Hanson, creator of the PBS Digital Studios science show It's OK to Be Smart! We've partnered with Dr. Joe to publish episodes of his show on GotScience.Org, starting with this gem!

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Watch the LIVE WEBCAST of "Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People", hosted @WhiteHouse on Wed, 9/30 from 8:10am-12pm ET. Follow on Twitter #WhCitSci

Learn more

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War on Science

Some states are restricting the collection of scientific monitoring data by citizens.

The next argument, of course, is "you don't have any data to prove that".

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