Author Topic: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?  (Read 9072 times)

klmasters

  • Astronomers
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« on: March 09, 2011, 10:05:45 am »
I'm curious to know if Galaxy Zoo has inspired you to do anything new. I know about Alice and a few others taking OU courses, and of course Waveney starting his PhD on the irregulars project (amazing - read about it on the blog here: http://blogs.zooniverse.org/galaxyzoo/2011/01/18/taking-citizen-science-seriously/). I'm just curious to hear if there are any more stories like that and/or to learn more details.

Hope this is the right bit of the forum for this discussion. It seemed to fit. I'm still enough of a forum newbie that I always seem to get in trouble when I start a thread....  ;) But thought I'd give it another go!

Karen.

My posts on the blog: http://blogs.zooniverse.org/galaxyzoo/author/karen/

klmasters

  • Astronomers
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 12:16:31 pm »
Oh, and if this thread already exists I may officially give up on the forum! (Only kidding - it's so massive though, I feel like I'm drowning in amazing pictures of galaxies!).

waveney

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5214
  • Irregular Galaxy Hunter
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 12:40:53 pm »
 ;D

This looks to me a perfectly fine place to put this.

(595 clicks to go)
Join the Irregular Classifiers
We all help at the cutting edge of ignorance.

Alice

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31782
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 09:14:33 pm »
Sorry Karen, no quantum copies of this thread already exist, so you have no excuse to leave. :P ;) ;D

Does a career change count? I was going to be a teacher - one of the reasons they gave for throwing me off the course was that I "can't have outside interests" (this from people who were drinking themselves into oblivion every weekend, which must have taken up a lot more time and energy than moderating Galaxy Zoo does). Galaxy Zoo has given me expertise in a subject that my degree never had, and gave me the confidence to pursue, in the long term, science communication. There is no way in the Milky Way Galaxy I'd have had articles published in two astronomy magazines without the zoo. Or that I'd have helped organise the She is an Astronomer conference. Or that I'd have set up Skeptics in the Pub in Cardiff (a series of informal lectures about critical thinking which take place in a pub! :D). Or that I'd be doing so much research ;D

Hanny

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 17256
  • "Voorwerp kid"
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 11:42:15 pm »
I'm curious to know if Galaxy Zoo has inspired you to do anything new.

Think I can make a long list of things I'd never have done/seen/experienced if it wasn't for the Zoo.. ;D ;)

klmasters

  • Astronomers
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 12:16:34 pm »
Hah! Finally got it right (maybe!). ;)

Alice - absolutely a career change counts. I honestly mean anything. Have you read books, or watched TV shows you wouldn't have otherwise known about. Maybe gone to a museum, or joined your local amateur astronomy club. Just curious about the wider effect of Galaxy Zoo on the lives of the volunteers. :)

Hanny - I bet your list is pretty long. ;)

Alice

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31782
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 12:46:23 pm »
Definitely books and local astronomical society. I simply wouldn't even have known all sorts of books existed, or thought to search for them, if it were not for the zoo. And it wouldn't have occurred to me to join the local astronomical society (not that I often manage to show up to that but hey.....). It just didn't occur to me that I didn't need professional expertise to be able to read and join in with these things. That's what all of my education and subsequent work felt like: if you aren't already a trained expert, there's no point even trying. Sad. And, as it turned out, untrue.

Hanny

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 17256
  • "Voorwerp kid"
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 01:04:01 pm »
You know, this is actually a great question. I've written the page in the comic book about 'how finding the Voorwerp changed my life', but if you're restricted to so many words, you only mention the highlights and there's lots of nice little things I wouldn't have known about if it wasn't for the Zoo... :) Thanks for the thought provoking stuff here Karen! 8)

stellar190

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15682
  • Space nutter in training
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 03:21:03 pm »
I can think of quite a few things that wouldn't have happened to me if I didn't find Galaxy Zoo...

I've had an interest in astronomy since I was little but I hadn't thought of actually doing it as a job until Galaxy Zoo :D I'd thought of everything from being a Volcanologist (but at 7 decided being toasted by a passing river of lava was too dangerous) to being a Zookeeper at a zoo (oh the irony) but never really an astronomer.

I found Galaxy Zoo when I was thirteen and it really couldn't have come at a better time. When I was that age I truly believed I couldn’t do anything better than leave education without anything to show for it. I never thought going to Uni was a possibility at all. I was taught to believe by my various dearest schools that I was as stupid as a person could possibly get.

So Galaxy Zoo gave me back the confidence I had lost and I slowly started to realise that I am capable of so much more. I started learning things through GZ that I'd never have been taught otherwise, for instance I started delving into astrophysics and realised how important mathematics was. Maths used to be my enemy, but now, even though it’s still something I find hard to grasp, I love it! And spectroscopy is one of my favourite ways to pass the time :D

I’ve also met so many wonderful people here and went to 6 great galaxy zoo meet-ups; all which I loved every second.

Then of course Alice got me to do OOTDs and from there I found science writing was definitely for me. Now I write whenever I can for blogs and record the odd Podcast with lightbulb500 ;D

I was doing iGCSE courses but for various reasons they went down the pan quite spectacularly, but now I’ve ended up doing Open Uni. And of course one of the courses I get to do starting from May happens to be astronomy ;D

And as for university; I’m heading that way one way or another to study astrophysics and I’m not going to take ‘no’ for an answer. Galaxy Zoo is certainly to blame for that one ;D

Whew, I think I’m done now :D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 03:25:46 pm by stellar190 »

jules

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8402
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 04:10:26 pm »
I didn't do science at school (girl's weren't encouraged) and regretted it. Got a non-science degree and a non-science related career and  I settled for astronomy as a hobby and thought that was that. For a long time. Then came Galaxy Zoo (and to be fair Stardust@Home too) and I found that there was a way in to science after all these years. The rest is pretty much history. The forum was full of like-minded people and I realised that it wasn't too late to do something about the lack of science in my life. Several Open Uni courses later I am now studying for my second science qualification and being in the very lucky position to have taken ridiculously early retirement from my (non-sicence related) job I now study full time and moderate the Moon Zoo and Solar Stormwatch forums and blog for both. I've also spoken at a couple of Citizen Science events. I've bought and read a string of astronomy / physics / sciency books I didn't even know existed back then and have a Twitter account where some of the authors of these books follow me!

Tell me that lot 3 years ago and I wouldn't have believed it!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2011, 04:12:03 pm by jules »

Hanny

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 17256
  • "Voorwerp kid"
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 06:37:10 pm »
I love this thread :D

NGC3314

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1590
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 01:38:23 am »
And as for university; I’m heading that way one way or another to study astrophysics and I’m not going to take ‘no’ for an answer.

I hate to imagine the fate of anyone standing in your way on that road...

Alice

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 31782
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 01:44:31 am »
And as for university; I’m heading that way one way or another to study astrophysics and I’m not going to take ‘no’ for an answer.

I hate to imagine the fate of anyone standing in your way on that road...

 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Come to think of it, Bill, Galaxy Zoo has inspired you to do new things as well if I understand correctly ;D

Budgieye

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3860
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 05:57:32 am »
In planetarium presentations, I already knew a lot about star gazing, the solar system and stars, but now I feel comfortable talking about galaxies.

EDIT: I learned to travel for hours to meet people that I hadn't met before, and then I felt like I knew them immediately.

ALSO: I learned how to post replies, images and tables on forums.

.and I learned a lot about taking trains.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 06:52:23 am by Budgieye »

klmasters

  • Astronomers
  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Has Galaxy Zoo inspired you to do anything new?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 04:53:31 pm »
This is great. Thanks everyone for sharing.

Perhaps I should join in too since I started it! Seems only fair. :)

  I'm not sure I've been inspired to do anything too different (still a research scientist working on galaxy evolution), but I think I have had a lot of opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had. Of course the data is unique and fantastic and I've had such fun working on all the Galaxy Zoo papers I've worked on. Because of the interest in Galaxy Zoo the latest one had a press release, so being involved with that was fun - and also being invited to talk about it at RAS last week.

I also love blogging for Galaxy Zoo, particularly I was pleased to have the chance to do something like the She's an Astronomer series, but just having an outlet for whatever random galaxy related post I want to do is great. Hopefully some of you like them too! ;)

And I've met some wonderful people too of course. I consider any time I spend with Chris an education in science communication - I always seem to learn so much. The other members of the science and education team I've met are also great, as are the many volunteers I've interacted with (mostly online, but I have now met a handful of you in person which was lovely.)

Karen.