Queensland is home to many great scientists who are at the forefront of many breakthroughs and discoveries, and you can help them with their research by becoming a citizen scientist Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said.
“Today is Citizen Science Day, and what better way to celebrate than engaging in the science and research that’s happening in your backyard,” Minister Enoch said.
“You don’t have to be a scientist to be involved – all you need is curiosity and a willingness to explore.
“Citizen science is a fun way to learn more about our world while helping to contribute to important research and increasing global scientific knowledge.
“Science is part of our everyday lives, and is all about observation,” Ms Enoch said.
“Citizen scientists provide valuable data, skills, knowledge and advice for scientific research that may not otherwise be available.”
The Queensland Government recently launched a Queensland Citizen Science Strategy to boost community participation in research projects as diverse as reporting on the ground effects of weather events, searching for galaxies far away or monitoring the health of our waterways.
Minister Enoch said that citizen science can make a real difference helping to address some of Queensland’s big challenges.
“Our strategy is all about mobilising Queenslanders to help our scientists with important research projects, because the more eyes and ears you’ve got out there, the better.
“Any information that people can provide as a citizen scientist will go a long way to supporting our researchers in their pursuit of discovery.”
Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Paul Bertsch said being a citizen scientist had huge value but at the moment, not many Queenslanders were aware of the opportunities and benefits in being involved in citizen science.
“Understanding more about science helps people make better decisions in their day-to-day lives, treat the environment responsibly and generally keep up with the rapid progress of modern technology,” Professor Bertsch said.
“The key principles of good science – curiosity, the rigorous testing of ideas, problem-solving, the importance of verifiable evidence, reflection, partnerships, honesty and objectivity – can apply to all aspects of our lives, from the way we do business to the way we look to tackle the big issues of our times, such as global climate change, food and water security, and slowing the loss of biodiversity and repairing ecosystems.
“For our children, being involved in citizen science projects can demonstrate the benefits of a career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as well as having a lot of fun.”
Chair of the Queensland Chapter of the Australian Citizen Science Association James Gullison said people could combine their hobbies and passions with research.
“Enjoy scuba diving? Why not join Reef Check and receive the knowledge and empowerment to conserve our oceans by undertaking reef surveys. Bird enthusiasts can team up with BirdLife Australia and contribute to the conservation and monitoring of species across Australia, even from the comfort of our own backyards,” Mr Gullison said.
Mr Gullison said the Australian Citizen Science Association’s project finder was a great way for new citizen scientists to get started.
“With over 100 projects across a range of scientific activities throughout Queensland, there is sure to be something for people to be able to take an interest in.”