In the current edition of the New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, you’ll find a piece co-authored by me and Alex Soojung-Kim Pang.  We hope that our op-ed, “The Growth of Citizen Science” helps articulate how “average people” are contributing to science.
Here’s an excerpt:

Not so long ago, “citizen scientist” would have seemed to be a contradiction in terms. Science is traditionally something done by people in lab coats who hold PhDs. As with classical music or acting, amateurs might be able to appreciate science, but they could not contribute to it. Today, however, enabled by technology and empowered by social change, science-interested laypeople are transforming the way science gets done.

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