Knowledge Exchange: Galaxy Zoo / by Nick Ierodiaconou

Another example of harnessing this cognitive surplus is the Galaxy Zoo. The quarter million images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey resulted in a data analysis task too great for just professionals in the field of astronomy. The Galaxy Zoo is a web-based platform that allows anybody to contribute to the enormous mission of gathering multiple classifications for each galaxy. So far more than 150,000 have taken part – and not just astronomy enthusiasts! This example is interesting as not only do the scientists get their data, it has developed in an alternative educational tool that explores a new research method and disseminates open research. Non-scientists have developed their own research topics – commonly adding to the established research as investigating areas too small for the research academics – and are now getting their findings published.