Everyone's a scientist

21 November 2016

The Inspiring Australia – Science Engagement Program will deliver a boost to citizen science, with $4 million over four years allocated for research ranging from classifying glaxies to counting koalas.

The money will be provided in form of competitive grants worth between $50,000 and $500,000.

The investment by the Australian Government is meant to provide assistance to researchers engaged in citizen science projects, and to boost public participation in science by involving people directly in the research process.

Previous citizen science projects include the Wildlife Spotter project: around 50,000 people contributed 43,000 hours of their time to analyse and identify wildlife in diverse wild and urban environments from Far North Queensland to Tasmania.

Run by ABC Science, the poject provided valuable information about the species that are roaming our wild and urban areas, and it will help saving threatened species and preserve Australia’s iconic wildlife.

Fireballs in the Sky

The Eureka Prize winning Fireballs in the Sky project invites people from around the world to learn about fireball and meteorite science and contribute fireball sightings via a smartphone app.

According to information on the project's website, more than 24,000 people in 88 countries have downloaded the app to date.

The program is the outreach arm of the Desert Fireball Network project, which aims to understand the early workings of the solar system by studying meteorites, fireballs and their pre-Earth orbits.

Screenshot from the Fireballs in the Sky app Image: Desert Fireball Network

In another example, 24,000 people in 88 countries reported meteor sightings via a dedicated app to the Fireballs in the Sky project from Curtin University. The Eureka Prize winning project will use this information to compute the meteor’s orbit, contributing to planetary science and our understanding of the formation of the solar system.

The grants delivered by AusIndustry are now open for application, closing date is 17 February 2017.

More information: www.business.gov.au