Smartphones, computers and mobile technology are allowing people to become part of a revolutionary, 21st century way of doing science. By observing their environment, monitoring neighborhoods, and collecting information about the world around them, citizens are helping professional scientists advance knowledge while speeding up new discoveries and innovations. The results are improving health and welfare, fighting air and water pollution, and giving communities the power to help themselves. THE CROWD & THE CLOUD, a four-part series hosted by former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, takes viewers on a global tour of the projects and people on the front lines of this disruptive transformation in how science is done, and shows how anyone, anywhere can participate. Produced by Passport to Knowledge and made possible by The National Science Foundation.
Sample topics include:
• Volunteer observers measure precipitation to help predict dangerous weather and save lives
• DIY enthusiasts use kites, balloons and off-the-shelf cameras to document the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
• "Armchair mappers" contribute time and brainpower to OpenStreetMap, supporting first responders after a tragic earthquake in Nepal.
• A start-up tackles Alzheimer's disease by adapting a successful online puzzle-game with hundreds of thousands of players worldwide.
• Surfer scientists in Southern California help to record ocean temperatures by using Smartfin, a surfboard fin with sensors that measures multiple ocean parameters
• Citizen scientists in China use government data and a mobile app to report environmental crimes
• Citizens band together in Philadelphia and other American cities to tackle dangerous levels of lead in drinking water. • In the Himalayas, the "Sherpa Science" team documents black carbon and melting glaciers while training local citizens to monitor the growing effects of climate change on their villages.
(Spanish Closed Captions available.)