In our Who’s who within the Zoo weblog collection we introduce you to a few of the individuals behind the Zooniverse.
On this version, meet Dr Liz Dowthwaite, who’s a Senior Analysis Fellow on the College of Nottingham, and long-term Zooniverse analysis collaborator
Title: Liz Dowthwaite
Location: College of Nottingham, UK
Inform us about your function throughout the staff
I’ve been working with the Zooniverse on and off for about 3 years. I don’t have an official Zooniverse job title, I’m a Senior Analysis Fellow in Reliable Autonomous Methods (https://www.tas.ac.uk) and Horizon Digital Economic system Analysis (https://www.horizon.ac.uk/) at Nottingham, and am fortunate sufficient to have the ability to spend a few of that point working with the Zoo staff. Nevertheless, I’ve been referred to as the ‘tame psychologist’! My work with the Zooniverse focuses on understanding how volunteer experiences will be enhanced to encourage continued participation and profit the volunteer.
What did you do in your life earlier than the Zooniverse?
Earlier than working with the Zooniverse I used to be doing the identical issues I do now! I did BSc Psychology and an MA in The Physique and Illustration on the College of Studying, UK. I additionally labored within the tutorial library there for 7 years as a library assistant receiving all of the shiny new books. I did my PhD in Digital and Artistic Economic system at Nottingham, within the Horizon CDT, studing on-line webcomic communities. I began as a Analysis Assistant in Horizon in 2016 while writing up my PhD, transferring on to Analysis Fellow after I graduated in 2018, and not too long ago received a promotion to Senior Analysis Fellow.
What does your typical working day contain?
I’m a analysis psychologist based mostly in a pc science division, so I research how individuals work together with know-how. I largely work at home in a tiny village in Oxfordshire, being often interrupted by two cats who would swear they’ve by no means been fed of their lives. I journey as much as Nottingham about as soon as a month to see my PhD college students, and likewise to show postgrads about digital footprints, accountable analysis and innovation (RRI) and experimental design. In my day-to-day I work throughout a variety of multidisciplinary tasks, for instance on-line moderation and end-to-end encryption, belief in know-how amongst individuals with psychological well being difficulties, benchmarks for measuring belief, and on-line wellbeing. This entails loads of on-line conferences with my colleagues across the nation, and plenty of time spent studying issues on the web! A few of that is managing and planning the tasks, some is conducting analysis – I write and analyse loads of questionnaires!
How would you describe the Zooniverse in a single sentence?
The Zooniverse is a power for good within the on-line world, permitting anybody anyplace to make an actual distinction.
Inform us in regards to the first Zooniverse undertaking you had been concerned with
I have a tendency to check the Zooniverse as a complete however I final yr I labored with a few of the staff at Science Scribbler: Placenta Profiles to assist them to know extra about their volunteers.
Of all of the discoveries made attainable by the Zooniverse, which for you has been probably the most notable?
I discovered a Supernova! Does that rely?!
What’s been your most memorable Zooniverse expertise?
After we run surveys with volunteers we frequently get some actually pretty tales about what the Zooniverse actually means to individuals, and I believe that’s actually fantastic. Our tasks have linked individuals to their very own histories and cultures, and made impacts on their present lives, which is actually heartwarming and I really like studying them.
What are your prime three citizen science tasks?
I don’t actually have a favorite, I wish to play with a variety of tasks. I are inclined to get pleasure from pictures and graphs probably the most. I used to be fully hooked on the unique Muon Hunters, I saved all the photographs that seemed like smiley faces, and it was actually easy and fast and had an actual ‘only one extra’ vibe. I additionally love the College of Wyoming Raccoon Challenge as a result of who doesn’t love trash pandas?
What recommendation would you give to a researcher contemplating making a Zooniverse undertaking?
Take into consideration how one can help and have interaction together with your volunteers past simply asking them to participate within the undertaking!
How can somebody who’s by no means contributed to a citizen science undertaking get began?
Simply get clicking! There actually is one thing to curiosity everybody on the Zooniverse – discover the undertaking pages and dive in. Many of the tasks have wonderful tutorials to get you began. Keep in mind that it’s alright to get issues mistaken, many individuals classifying the identical issues results in a superb consensus and prime quality information. And if a undertaking isn’t for you, there may be sure to be one other one on the market that you simply’ll love.
When not at work, the place are we more than likely to seek out you?
On the web! But in addition studying the London Overview of Books, ingesting wine, or strolling within the stunning countryside round Oxfordshire – generally all of these directly if we discover an superior nation pub! I’m additionally a eager cook dinner (however not baker) and an especially eager eater, and a reluctant runner (partly because of the entire consuming)…