Trinity is partnering with The Irish Times to work on a new Citizen Science initiative from which a number of different projects will be developed and promoted. Members of the public will be asked to fill out a questionnaire based on a scientific topic. These questionnaires allow people to voice their opinions regarding certain areas of scientific research. Each new questionnaire will be accompanied by an article written by a scientist.
Dr Joseph Roche from Trinity’s School of Education is leading the initiative. Dr Roche wrote the first article in the series, in which he explains the benefits of Citizen Science. Citizen Science is any scientific approach that involves people who are not professional scientists. It can often be a way of making scientific research more democratic. Citizen Science can also heighten public interest, causing quicker progress in scientific research.
Dr Roche’s article was accompanied by a questionnaire on pollinators, offering members of the public the chance to contribute to research. The second article in the series was written by Professor Jane Stout from Trinity’s School of Natural Sciences and her colleague, Dr Hannah Hamilton. The article focuses on the ecological and financial importance of pollinators and the benefits they provide. The next questionnaire will ask people to give their opinions on vaccination.
As well as Trinity College and The Irish Times, the Citizen Science initiative is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and Science Foundation Ireland through its Discover Programme.