I am a scientist, I have a couple of degrees, spent too much time in school some might say. I was listening to Science Friday Blog from last week and they were discussing citizen scientists which is really cool. The concept is that everyday people collect data for scientists and transmit that data. The data are analyzed by PhD scientists. They are using social networking to collect the data. One example is correlating snow fall to data collected by satellites. You measure the snow fall in your back yard and then tweet the number with your zip code with a hash tag (#) referencing the project name. Another person called in to the show and they collect rainfall data for the University of Arizona. Everyday they check their rain gauge at exactly the same time and then transmit the data to the scientists.
I think I am going to research my options to become a citizen scientist (because I don’t really do enough science in my job). I will post some of the options I find incase others are interested.
EDITED 1/25/11: I found this cool project: The Milky Way Project. Check it out if you are into astronomy!