Editor’s Choice: And accompanying the more disheartening article about scientists’ attitudes towards citizen science, here is a small ray of hope where we hear about one scientist’s journey of accepting citizen science as a legitimate methodology through actual participation in a citizen science project. — LFF —

Excerpt: For years I scoffed at the very notion of “citizen science.” I dismissed it as cumbersome, unreliable, and yielding data of questionable quality at best. In short, I was sniffy about the whole thing, and kept it at arm’s length. I was not alone. In fact, many of my colleagues dismissed citizen science as mostly a feel-good endeavor.

Though there may have been some truth to this perception, I snapped to attention when I realized that, in recent years, citizen science can lead to big science. For example, projects such as e-bird and the National Phenology Network have generated dozens of peer-reviewed papers on topics such as bird population trends or plant and animal responses to climate change. The power of crowdsourced data collection lies in thoughtful designs, clear protocols and engaging subjects.

A friend uses the otoscope to peer inside a nesting hole as the author’s daughter looks on. Photo © Meredith Cornett

Source: Cornett, M., 2017. On Bee-ing, 2 October 2017. Available at Cool Green Science: https://blog.nature.org/science/2017/10/02/bees-citizen-science-nature-bee-atlas/ [Last accessed 7 November 2017].