Crowdsourced science & going against the wisdom of the crowd

Last year I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the ThingMonk Internet of Things conference. I spoke about my experiences and learnings in building a crowdsourced radiation map for Japan after the Fukushima disaster.

You can watch my talk here…

The biggest point I wanted to get across is that crowdsourced science is not about gathering as many scientific readings as possible from the crowd and then using that multitude of data to derive the truth. In fact, when it comes to scientific data, quality trumps quantity. So with radiation it wasn’t about getting as many readings as possible, but making sure that geiger counters were correctly calibrated and readings were being taken in a responsible manner. The crowd in this case of crowdsourcing comes from the volunteer efforts of the community that works to ensure a high quality bar in the data gathering.

Some interesting issues to consider in the future Internet of Things world, where many things may be connected to eachother and to us, but the value of those things and that data will be up to us to determine and safeguard.

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