July 1, 2009
Posted: 10:17 AM ET
Tiny contributions from many people can amount to something cool in the aggregate.
Scientists have given out small pollution sensors to 100 commuters, cyclists and pedestrians, the BBC reports. Those sensors will help scientists get a real-time picture of air quality.
Here's what Neil Hoose, coordinator of the project, told the BBC:
It's a new twist on the idea of "citizen science," which I wrote about for CNN.com. As funding for scientific research gets tight, scientists are turning to everyday people for help in collecting basic data. The Internet has given the idea momentum, as it makes it easy for people with common hobbies and research interests to link up.
Also see this previous SciTech blog post with a list of citizen science projects - some of them submitted by readers.
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