Citizen science projects 2015

Citizen science projects from BSW 2015

For British Science Week (BSW) 2015, we partnered with two different citizen science projects.

The first of these was Nature’s Calendar – a citizen science scheme run by the Woodland Trust.

Volunteers note the signs of the seasons near them, and these records add to the longest written dataset of its kind, which began in 1736!

For BSW we asked everyone to look out for a selection of commonly seen natural events. From this we calculated how fast the arrival of spring 2015 swept across the UK from south to north. We should have the results in June 2015.

The second was Worm Watch Lab.

Worm Watch Lab is a Medical Research Council/Zooniverse citizen science project, where with help from you and our small distant cousins, the nematode worm, scientists can better understand how the brain works and how genes affect behaviour.

Humans share a common ancestor with nematode worms, and although these wriggly worms are really small and have far fewer cells than we do, they have almost as many genes!  Many of these genes are closely related to human genes, and scientists have found that by observing the egg laying behaviour of these tiny creatures, we can better understand how our own genes affect human brain function.

The challenge is that not only do the nematode worms lay a lot of eggs, scientists need thousands and thousands of classifications of worm egg laying for their research.

By watching a 30-second movie clip, and clicking a button every time the nematode worm lays an egg, citizen scientists helped contribute hundreds of thousands of classifications during British Science Week.

Join us at!