The Fourth of July is a great time for a lot of things, like eating barbecue, shooting off fireworks, and taking a day off work to knock back a couple of cold ones among friends. All of that is terrific, of course — seriously, those are three of my top three favorite things ever — but for our American readers, it’s only appropriate to reflect for a moment on what our country has done for us, and how we can give back. Here at the Geekosystem offices, we’re drastically under-prepared for things like military service — that would just end up like Stripes, but way less funny — but we’re pretty damn good at the Internet. If you’re in the same boat and looking for a way to give back, there are a wide variety of citizen science projects you can lend a hand to from the comfort of your laptop. They may never get your name in Nature, but if you want to do your part, here are seven ways you can chip in to help researchers around the world learn about everything from the populations of the ocean floor to the behavior of cancer cells.
And yes, we know these things don’t just benefit America, as lending a hand to scientific endeavors is a boon to the whole human species. At our best, though, that’s what the U.S.A is all about. A little volunteerism is never a bad thing, no matter who benefits from it.
The easiest way to get involved for most of these studies is though Zooniverse, a web portal run by the Citizen Science Alliance that hosts and helps to organize several of the projects featured here, along with several more we didn’t have room for.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
- A Hulk statue for a library? We can get behind that.
- This is a lot more worthwhile than crowdsourcing an erotic novel
- Reddit is trying to crowdsource real ass laws. This can pretty much only go well, right?