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Science — not just for scientists

Think you need to be a ‘scientist’ to make a contribution to Australian science? Think again! Science and research teams around the world are harnessing the power of everyday citizens to help identify new species, track bird populations, and evaluate water quality. This approach to ‘crowd sourcing’ science is called citizen science.

The Australian Government, through Inspiring Australia and National Science Week, supports projects that ask Australians to gather and process information in support of important science and research projects.

For example, in 2014, Weather Detective had Australians transcribing weather observations from old ships’ log books. These weather observations, even when made 100 years ago, can help to predict future weather.

The Fireballs in the Sky project has invited more than 24,000 people in 88 countries to learn about fireball and meteorite science and contribute fireball sightings via a smartphone app. This helps to understand the early workings of the solar system by capturing the paths of fireballs in the sky from multiple viewpoints.