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Why should you become a Citizen Scientist?

Understand what it means to be a Citizen Scientist.

Citizen Science projects allow anyone who is interested to become actively involved in the process of science by participating in real scientific research.

By contributing your time and the power of your computer, you can help researchers who are trying to cure diseases, study global weather and discover and map outer space. 

Share with your peers on the discussion wall! As part of your post you can:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Describe a project that has benifitted from the support of citizen scientists
  • Share what it is that has motivated you to begin this journey.

Task Discussion

  • Red_Squall said:

    Personally I have always been interested in the sciences. As a former "slacker" in K-12 I have a lot of slack to pick up. I don't know much about the "Citizen Scientist" enitiative, and only came accross it here in the P2PU.

    I look forward to contributing my time and efforts any way that I can.. Here's to a fun and productive experience!

    on June 1, 2013, 11:53 p.m.
  • Nicolás Carosio said:

    I am from Argentina, and I get in a point of my life that I want to start to contribute to the world.

    I think that Internet have to be use in a better way like this!

    on March 1, 2013, 2:03 p.m.
  • BananaBoss said:

    I wan't to learn and see what I will contribte to the world.

    on Nov. 11, 2012, 5:04 p.m.
  • Leonie McGlashan said:


    I'm a high school science and chemistry teacher in Victoria, Australia.

    The SETI project comes to mind where the public can participate in the search for life in the Universe.

    I also think apps that track bodiversity like iNaturalist are interesting too.

    Citizen science is something I'd like to share at school.

    on Nov. 10, 2012, 6:11 a.m.
  • Swerked said:

    What made me interested in this topic?

    I have been involved with hardware and programming since the late 70's, as a teenager in the 70's I built a Heathkit computer with my best friend. Someday, we thought everybody is going to want one of these. Currently, I earn my keep as an Account Executive for a Key Point Indicator and Analysis company.

    What do I hope to achieve by participating?

    Fraternity - a sense of belonging that I have not experienced in quite some time, theres just something about working with a team of dedicated people who take pride in what they are accomplishing that fulfills me.

    Share what it is that has motivated you to begin this journey.

    My motivation is purely selfish, I want to learn continually throughout my brief existence on this planet, and I want to leave it a little bit better than I found it.  If that involves helping with the study group or organization, then so be it.
    on Sept. 27, 2012, 6:36 p.m.
  • jopdv1 said:

    I'm curious to see what skills I can develope here and what contributions if any I can make. 

    on Sept. 16, 2012, 9:57 p.m.
  • Grim said:

    I started using Bionic, and a couple other citizen scientist like programs, I have always loved the idea of being a scientist or at least helping in some way. The field has always intrested me, and inspired me. 

    on Sept. 6, 2012, 3:12 p.m.
  • miles_morton said:

    I am here to make my contribution to science!

    on Aug. 14, 2012, 8:16 p.m.
  • p3m4la5 said:

    I am totally new in this filed but I think this field very interesting so I am decided to stay here.

    on Aug. 10, 2012, 10:09 a.m.
  • Anonym said:

    I 'donated' home computer time to the World Community Grid about eight years ago for the human proteome folding project. More recently, I attended a presentation on the crowd-source effort to categorize galaxy photographs call Galaxy Zoo. The idea of leveraging interested 'amateurs' in useful ways in research is very exciting, both as a way of speeding the completion of research but also to stimulate interest and knowledge more broadly.

    on July 26, 2012, 3:26 p.m.
  • Stone said:

    I think I posted this in the wrong thread to start off with.

    I started with seti@home in 2001 before BOINC even existed, and when they switched everything over to using BOINC I was able to get even more involved in science projects.

    I support the following projects plus many others. I support projects in medicine, mathamatics, climate prediction, physics, cosmology, astronomy, and basically any of the sciences. The following list is just a partial list of the projects I support and have running in BOINC across a number of machines.

    ABC@home AlmereGrid Boinc Grid Climate Prediction Collatz Conjecture Constellation DistributedDataMining DistrRTgen Docking@Home EDGeS@Home Einstein@Home Enigma@Home eOn IBERCIVIS Leiden Classical LHC Test4Theory@Home LHC@Home Classic Malaria Control Mersenne@home MilkyWay@home Najmanovich Research Group (NRG) NFS@Home NumberFields@home POEM@HOME Primaboinca PrimeGrid QMC@Home RALPH@Home Rosetta@Home RSA Lattice Siever (2.0) SETI@Home SETI@Home Beta SIMAP SZTAKI Desktop Grid yoyo@home

    I have tried to put the links in for some of the projects, but it would take me a while to do it for all of them, and they can all be found on a site like BAM ( I highly suggest using a web based management tool like BAM as it will help you find projects, make Your user ID for you on new projects, and even help you to keep track of your stats.

    I think at this point that technology is the best solution to lead the human race out of the mess we have created of the planet. I think it's going to take a lot of work to make the changes we need to make, and that we need to recruit more people into joining in and actively helping.

    The fact is, most people do not use the full potential of their computers and technology, and BOINC gives us a way to do that. As I mentioned above, I have been involved in doing @home projects since 2001 and I just added 4 new ones.

    A couple of them are test projects that will help make the main projects run better, and some of them are active projects. The 5th new project is Radioactive@Home which requires I get one of the detectors, but it's inexpensive and I have left messages with the project manager letting him know I want to get the detector.

    I seem to be going on a bit here but I do think that BOINC and science are a smart solution to help start identifying new technologies, and educating people about some of the issues we, as humans, must turn and face tosolve these issues.

    These are just some of the reasons I think it's important to have people become citizen scientists, and why I have chosen to follow this route myself.


    on July 11, 2012, 12:36 p.m.

    FalconDot said:

    Mess depends not only on technological advances and knowledge structuring but also on political, cultural and other factors, you name it!

    I am just wondering on the existence of projects where a Scientist can learn how to be a honest and responsible Citizen. With the significant number of actual Citizens the technological mess will settle down on its own. Theoretically, and even technically, the knowledge mess problem is already solved.

    Ask me how!wink


    on July 14, 2012, 6:41 p.m. in reply to Stone
  • skilletsnail said:

    I'm Chris, and I want to become a Citizen Scientist because BOIC is an easy way to be useful. I know that there have been some BOINC projects that involve proteins.

    on July 7, 2012, 5:54 p.m.
  • DnvnQuinn said:


    • Patrick Quinn amateur scientist with a P.H.D in Awesome
    • Distributive computing is the key to discovery I believe, Seti@home, ABC@home,Einstein@home it's all going to change the face of science and discovery.
    • Self Discovery, if I improve the world and explore it, learning all I can about it amI not learning and improving myself?
    on July 5, 2012, 6:57 p.m.
  • amwagner1998 said:

    I am new to these projects. I currently own a website called

    I have had to use a website designer to run my website. My hopes are that I will gain the skill and experience that is necessary for me to design the website that I want. I no longer want to use a design created by someone else.

    on June 29, 2012, 10:12 p.m.
  • KaMii said:

    I became aware of projects like this a few years ago with folding@home, I thought it was a good project run when I am not using my computers.  Then I heard about BOINC and wanted to know more about it.  I'm a huge slackware linux user and checked all the slackbuilds to see if someone had created a build script.  None was found, so I grabbed sources from SVN and wrote my own build script for Slackware.  Unfortunately when I tried to submit it upstream to the slackware comunity they said I have to host or find someone to host the source tarball.  Well I dont have it and BOINC only hosts svn not tarballs.  So... unfortunately no one can get my build script because I do not have a server running that can handle ftp file transfers (extremely low bandwith in my area).

    Anyway, I think projects like this are great, most of us in the first world countries own computers and those computers are just sitting there either turned off or in hibernation mode for many hours every day.  I like BOINC because I can turn it on when I am away from the computer and have it do something useful and productive for the world.

    Right now I am still trying to figure out how to get BOINC to compile with the GUI and for it to find and use my GPU.  I was only able to get BOINC working as cli which means I have to manually turn it on when I want it to do something.  I am always using Virtualbox because I test other linux systems and am currently working on a linux project of my own (just for fun and learning) so I figured why not use t4t.  It works, which I am happy about.

    I have two computers running BOINC right now, and I have been folding protein chains with my PS3 for about a year.  I would like to get BOINC to recognize and use my GPU as that would greatly increase computations to the world community, but I am having difficulties getting it to even notice one exists.

    If anyone knows where I can find a source tarball of BOINC that I can link my build script to, I will beable to submit it upstream to the slackware community.

    on June 10, 2012, 12:08 p.m.

    Daniel Lombraña González said:

    Hi KaMii,

    I would love to tell you where you can host your tarball, but I guess that the official BOINC team does not provide this solution as you have said. In any case, have you tried to contact them directly? Maybe, they will be happy to host a tarball, so your building script for Slackware could be easily integrated into the distribution.

    In any case, thanks a lot for your feedback, and I'm happy to have another user on board!



    on June 11, 2012, 2:38 a.m. in reply to KaMii

    KaMii said:

    I decided to forget about hosting source code, since anyone can grab it from SVN, since slackbuilds refuses to use svn I have uploaded my build scripts to:

    Hope this can help anyone who wants to compile BOINC on slackware.

    This works on 32 bit slackware 13.37.  I have not tested it on previous versions or in -current.  I have no plans to support the beta (-current) of slackware and will only test this agains stable releases.

    It should work on 64 bit as-well, but I do not use 64 bit anymore, too much mantienece and messing around with multilibs and I never once saw any preformance differenced between the two.  32 bit is less time consuming for me.  If you are running a multilib slackware system and want to compile it for 32 bit enter the following into your shell BEFORE running the build script:(the period space is not a typeo, it is required)

    . /etc/profile.d/

    This changes your shell environment to prefer 32 bit libraries before 64 bit libraries.  It self deactivates when you logout of your shell, (or if in an xwindow environment, close the teminal)

    on June 12, 2012, 1:03 p.m. in reply to Daniel Lombraña González

    Daniel Lombraña González said:

    Wow!!! Nice work!!!! Thanks for sharign your work with us and promoting the good habits of the open source community: sharing :-)

    on June 13, 2012, 4:02 a.m. in reply to KaMii
  • Buzzy said:

    I've been crunching for science projects for over a decade, starting with SETI@Home and then
    World Community Grid
    . I subsequently moved on to BOINC, which I've been running on various machines for over 6 years.

    WCG is run by IBM and contributes to a range of research efforts including malaria, dengue fever and other diseases, clean water, cancer and proteome folding. The computing power provided by distributing computing over the last decade has provided huge amounts of research value and progressed scientific research way beyond the capacity of the research insitiutions themselves. A great thing.

    BOINC is free software provided by UC Berkeley. It allows users to run any of dozens of projects ranging from prime number searches to molecular research, image rendering and even earthquake detection. Get involved!

    on May 13, 2012, 4:50 a.m.

    Daniel Lombraña González said:

    Very good answer. I guess that you have been really involved as a volunteer for a long time.



    on May 14, 2012, 2:19 a.m. in reply to Buzzy
  • Denis Ruchnewitz said:


    I´m runnning the Project Test4Theory because it works with CERN and i like this organisation because the people there search for the basics of our nature and life.

    on May 7, 2012, 12:01 p.m.

    Daniel Lombraña González said:

    Hi Denis,

    It is good to know that you are interested in the project Test4Theory and learning a bit more about physics and life.


    on May 9, 2012, 2:37 a.m. in reply to Denis Ruchnewitz
  • Richard said:

    • I'm Richard, a local business owner in Gran Alacant, Spain.
    • SETI Live, Galaxy Zoo, and other Zooniverse projects are examples of work helped by citizen scientists.
    • My motivation is to primarily continually educate myself throughout my life, educate family/frineds/others, and to make my own contribution no matter how small.
    on April 30, 2012, 1:54 p.m.

    Daniel Lombraña González said:

    Dear Richard,

    Nice to meet you! Thanks for sharing the three points with us!



    on May 2, 2012, 2:18 a.m. in reply to Richard
  • Daniel Lombraña González said:

    • Introduce yourself
    • Describe a project that has benifitted from the support of citizen scientists
      • Test4Theory, thanks to the CPU cycles donated by anonymous volunteers all over the world. The project belongs to CERN and allows to run "a virtual atom smasher" in your computer thanks to the Virtualization technology VBox.
    • Share what it is that has motivated you to begin this journey.
      • To get more people aware about the possibilities that this type of projects will bring to science. If all together can make  a better world, is not worthy try it?
    on Feb. 21, 2012, 10:27 a.m.