Citizen science

Guest columnist at the New York Times, Aaron Hirsh writes about the centralization of grand science like the search for the Higgs boson, in ever bigger projects. While the focus of the column is on whether a new kind of science, what he refers to as "citizen science," might flourish, in one interesting passage he also wonders aloud how Big Science might change the scientists:

It’s not only scientific instruments, but also the scientists themselves who are transformed by centralization. If the 19th century was an age of far-flung investigators alone in the wilderness or the book-lined study, the 21st century is, so far, an age of scientists as administrators. Many of the best-known scientists of our day are men and women exceptionally talented in herding the resources — human and otherwise — required to plan, construct and use big sophisticated facilities.

What is citizen science? Here's one of my favorites.