In Citizen Science, Commons Lab, Crowdsourcing, News and Events on November 18, 2013 at 9:00 am
Citizen science projects range from classifying galaxies and collecting environmental data to collectively solving the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme through a protein-folding game.The Commons Lab within the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Wilson Center, in collaboration with TechChange and the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and Africa Program, invite you to join a conversation on open innovation and citizen science: What technologies support public participation in scientific research? How can projects ensure high-quality data collection and analysis, and support meaningful engagement with volunteers? How can federal agencies build partnerships to leverage these new approaches? What are the impacts to science, management, and policy, and how do we measure success?
Opening remarks by Kumar Garg, Assistant Director for Learning and Innovation, Technology and Innovation Division, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Wednesday, November 20 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT
To attend in person, please register here.
This event will be live streamed during the keynote and panel discussion; registration is not required for online participation. Click here to view live stream.
Follow the event on Twitter @STIPCommonsLab and #CitSci
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In Commons Lab, Foresight, Governance, News and Events, Technology and the Law on May 22, 2013 at 10:13 am
In our recent post on the Open Data Policy, we mentioned Project Open Data as an exciting manifestation of collaborative government concepts put into practice. To learn more, we reached out to GitHubber Ben Balter, former Presidential Innovation Fellow and previous contributor to the Commons Lab. Ben also provided input on agile development for our paper on the National Broadband Map.
How did GitHub become a part of this project?
I was working as a Presidential Innovation Fellow when the process to create the Open Data Policy began. Anyone within government is used to seeing documents circulate with no real idea of when it was edited, by whom, whether it was the most current version, and so on. This is very opaque. So while we’re working on open data policy, the process itself was very not open. Open source developers within the Innovation Fellows started talking about using GitHub to create the actual document. Lowering the barrier to entry was always the idea—we want people editing this and sharing their perspectives. Read the rest of this entry »
In Commons Lab, Foresight, Governance, News and Events, Technology and the Law on May 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm
FCC Visualization of Low Power FM Availability, built on open data and explained on GitHub.
Today, the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly released a new Open Data Policy directing agencies to implement specific structural reforms. In conjunction with an Executive Order prioritizing open and machine readable government information, these adjustments are forward looking and exciting. They speak to a general understanding that a deliberate approach to the way that data are processed and released can exponentially enhance their value.
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In Commons Lab, Crowdsourcing, Disaster Management, Foresight, News and Events on May 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm
Editor’s note: In September 2012, the Commons Lab hosted the Connecting Grassroots to Government for Disaster Management workshop. Over two days, we spoke with a number of event participants for a series of video podcasts covering various aspect of the proceedings. The conversation below with Eric Rasmussen is the first of these podcasts. Please stay tuned: Additional installments will be posted in the coming weeks and the workshop summary report will be published in June.
Eric Rasmussen wears many hats: He is a medical doctor, a research professor for environmental security and global medicine at San Diego State University, an affiliate associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington, and the managing director at Infinitum Humanitarian Systems, a “profit-for-purpose” company in California that focuses on reducing vulnerability for systems and populations. In addition to sitting on a number of boards, Rasmussen served in the Navy for more than 25 years and was deployed more than 15 times to Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries.
In this podcast, Rasmussen discusses the limitations software developers face when moving ideas from concept to implementation in disaster response, noting that developers often have too little access to end users and too little understanding of the constraints faced by those users in the field. He also discusses the need to engage agencies and other responders early on to make sure new systems are incorporated into agency response plans and the role of policymakers in addressing these challenges.
In Commons Lab, Crowdsourcing, Disaster Management, News and Events on March 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm
If you think so, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Humanity United want to hear from you. The groups have announced a competition for people looking to apply technology to the prevention of atrocities around the world. And it’s not too late to get involved. Here is a March 6 statement with some more detail:
Despite a global effort to prevent atrocities including genocide, ethnic cleansing and mass rape, millions remain at risk. In an effort to combat future atrocities, today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Humanity United launched the second and final round of the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention and competition, an innovative approach to developing new ways to combat and prevent the worst human rights violations.
The Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention encourages individuals, groups and organizations to apply technology-based solutions to the most significant challenges surrounding atrocity prevention. Submitted in the form of prototypes or concept papers, proposals are reviewed by a prestigious panel of judges comprised of human rights and technology experts and U.S. government leaders. Winners receive cash prizes. Humanity United and USAID will also explore the possibility of piloting and scaling the most promising innovations. Read the rest of this entry »
In Commons Lab, Governance, News and Events on March 6, 2013 at 10:43 am
Mapbox Visualization of Sequestration Cuts
Faced with deep spending cuts due to sequestration, the White House recently released documents detailing state by state expenditure reductions. However, they were presented in PDFs, not a machine readable format. With minimal effort, two separate maps (here and here) have been built on collaborative platforms for no taxpayer cost. As this explanation details, these projects run on easily accessible tools. After some quick data entry, a series of simple and automated scripts allowed the sequestration cuts to appear in an interactive visual format. Presenting civic information in ways that simply convey the contours of a problem engages a larger audience on complex issues. These maps demonstrate the power of open government data.