Citizen Scientists

Thomas and Brown’s A New Culture of Learning highlights that teachers learn from their students. This reminds me that citizen scientists can make important contributions that benefit scientists. “Citizen science is a rigorous process of scientific discovery, indistinguishable from conventional science apart from the participation of volunteers. When properly designed, carried out, and evaluated, citizen science can provide sound science, efficiently generate high-quality data, and help solve problems” (USGS, 2017). I mention citizen science because it shares a similarity with the new culture of learning. “The new culture of learning gives us the freedom to make the general personal and then share our personal experience in a way that, in turn, adds to the general flow of knowledge” (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p.31). Both citizen science and the new culture of learning expand knowledge. It is worthwhile to note that citizen scientists make important contributions to environmental protection, conservation science, and natural resource management (USGS, 2017).

Thomas, D & Brown, J.S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning.

U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS). (2017). Citizen science can improve conservation science, natural resource management, and environmental protection. Retrieved from

Concerns for New Researchers

This week’s readings made me think about what may keep some new researchers from blogging. I agree with Hitchcock that “A lot of early career scholars, in particular, worry that exposing their research too early, in too public a manner, will either open them to ridicule, or allow someone else to ‘steal’ their ideas” (Hitchcock, 2014). I think such concerns can be addressed by remembering that research benefits from peer review. In addition, new researchers should not feel restricted to only writing about certain subjects. Thus, it is important not to “let ideas about propriety or academic silos limit you” (Perry, 2015).

Hitchcock, T. (2014, July 28). 3 Rules of Academic Blogging [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Perry, D. (2015, November 11). 3 Rules of Academic Blogging. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from