Author Topic: University Assignent.  (Read 2171 times)

GWRowley

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University Assignent.
« on: November 10, 2012, 08:16:39 pm »
Hi,

I am currently studying a module known as web broadcast, part of this module is making a contribution to the internet, how would you guys rate the importance and impact you could have? would you say the impact would be permanent and/or measureable?

Rick Nowell

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Re: University Assignent.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 04:55:40 pm »
As I understand your question, you're asking what impact GZ has had for Science and
the Internet and whether that is quantifiable. As a personal opinion, I think that within
the parameters of 'citizen science' and 'crowdsourcing' it has had a great effect. Outside
these, it is much harder to judge, but I would guess not too much. How much real effect
has GZ had on Astronomical thinking? This is not to trivialise GZ, but Astronomy is such a
massive subject and so full of unknowns, do Voorwerps and Peas impact that much on
it?

While it is true that GZ has been used in general education and got onto the television,
especially with 'Planethunters', galaxy-based astronomy is an esoteric subject at best.
'Redshift', 'light years', these sort of terms are not everyday and require considerable
background knowledge. Certainly, judging whether a galaxy is spiral or elliptical is easy
enough, given a few minutes of application. But do 'the general public' understand what,
for instance, 200,00 light years means?

So while GZ has got hundreds of thousands of people involved in astronomy through
getting people to make simple judgements, has it changed mainstream astronomical
thinking? As it has shown by its popularity, people do want to get involved. Through the
success of other projects, it's obvious that this crowdsourcing is useful in other fields
of research. So it is easy to conclude that GZ set a precedent. After all, internet science
is a new activity and GZ signposted the way. In that way, it's success is remarkable.

How can I put it? At the IAA triennial meeting in Beijing this summer, citizen science
and GZ garnered headlines from day 1. But 99% of that meeting had nothing to do with
GZ or crowdsourcing. At some point, astronomical crowdsourcing becomes irrelevant.
Thus, while it is great that many people have the enjoyment of having taken part in a
huge astronomy project, will a project such as GZ ever be able to discover what dark
matter is?

zutopian

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Re: University Assignent.
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 06:05:40 pm »
I think, that the GZ forum and GZ blog contribute to the Internet.:
When googling for information about astronomical things, google often lists GZ forum and/or GZ blog posts on the first pages.
I was surprised, when google listed a post by me!

GWRowley

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Re: University Assignent.
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 06:24:44 pm »
Thanks for the input! :)

never thought of things like that, very interesting.

zutopian

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Re: University Assignent.
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 06:42:59 pm »
GZ contributes to astronomy by using the Internet.:
The GZ Project produces scientific papers by GZ astronomers, who use our classifications/discoveries. Those papers are available on the arxiv webpage.
The results of our classifications are available online. There are also non-GZ astronomers, who use this data for their research and they cite GZ in their papers (also available on arvix).
There is a chapter about GZ in the book "Reinventing Discovery" by Michael Nielsen.: http://www.galaxyzooforum.org/index.php?topic=279522.0
There are wikipedia articles about GZ and GZ discoveries.: Hanny's Voorwerp and The Green Peas.
Besides there are news articles about GZ topics in the Internet.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 06:47:40 pm by zutopian »

Alice

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Re: University Assignent.
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 08:26:56 pm »
Welcome to the zoo GWRowley!

I was going to say that about us getting into a book, but Zutopian said it first. ;D

We have discovered a new class of galaxy - the Peas - and Waveney began a project of our own, looking at irregular galaxies. We have a much larger sample of irregular galaxies than any professional paper so far. He was going to do a PhD but that has been massively delayed for various reasons.

We got a lot of press attention from the Voorwerp, etc, as you know. :)

Citizen science is now something I see mentioned a lot on the internet, which was not the case five years ago (this may also of course be due to me not being so familiar with the internet five years ago :D). But Galaxy Zoo has, I think, although I'm not sure how to measure the effect, made citizen science a lot more respectable for academic people to pursue. As this article points out, Galaxy Zoo has given other scientists ideas for large-scale projects, with the help of the Citizen Science Alliance.