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Astronomy for the masses: Crowdsourcing in a historical perspective

This pilot, financed by the LETStudio, is part of a larger research project on the history of Swedish amateur astronomy. The project has recently received funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and will start early 2012 (see under Studio 2/Projects). In general we are interested in how the development of various communications practices and of different information technologies continuously have reshaped the conditions for public engagement in science. The pilot is focusing at one of these practices, what recently has been labelled crowd sourcing. Even if the concept usually is used for Internet based projects as eg. GalaxyZoo and Folding@home, astronomers have been using similar techniques long before the advent of the Internet. In the pilot we will study one such instance, a crowdsourcing initiative launched by Swedish astronomers in the 1930s and trying to engage the Swedish public in meteor observations. We will also study one of the present day examples, the above-mentioned Folding@home.

More about the project

For more information contact:

Johan Kärnfelt, Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University of Gothenburg, E-mail

Gustav Holmberg, The Research Policy Institute, Lund University, E-mail


Page Manager: Elin Johansson|Last update: 12/20/2011

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