Commons Lab - Wilson Center

Commons Lab - Wilson Center Research and policy analysis on emerging tech for collaborative science and decision-making. http://CommonsLab.wilsoncenter.org Rapidly evolving information and communication technologies, including social media and mobile phones, coupled with new methodologies like crowdsourcing, have placed the collective “wisdom of the crowd” and power of mass collaboration into the hands of average citizens and organizations.

This was seen in the aftermath of recent disasters – including the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and fires in Colorado and California—when ordinary people used cellphone cameras and social networking tools to help authorities find missing people, connect survivors with needed supplies, and map affected areas. It has also been seen in efforts to foster broad public participation in scientific research, from classifying galaxies and collecting environmental data to collectively solving the structure of an AIDS-related enzyme through a protein-folding game.

Mission: The Commons Lab of the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program seeks to advance research and independent policy analysis on emerging technologies that facilitate collaborative public sector decision-making, with an emphasis on their social, organizational, legal, and ethical implications. The initiative does not advocate for or against specific technological platforms, rather works to ensure that these technologies are developed and used in a way that maximizes benefits while reducing risks and unintended consequences. Our work often focuses on novel governance options at the “edges” where the crowd and social media operate—between formal and informal organizations and proprietary and open-source models of data ownership and access.

Operating as usual

Join us next Tuesday the 15th, 1:30pm, at the Wilson Center as we take a look at the future of citizen science and crowd...
11/10/2016
The Future of U.S. Federal Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

Join us next Tuesday the 15th, 1:30pm, at the Wilson Center as we take a look at the future of citizen science and crowd sourcing in the new administration. We'll be joined by experts from NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Bureau of Land Management.

STIP interviewed twelve representatives of the Federal Community of practice and Agency Coordinators and conducted desk research to compile 10 strategic recommendations for advancing U.S. federal policies and programs in citizen science and crowdsourcing to facilitate the transfer of knowledge on th...

Read the newest piece on the Commons Lab website, which discusses how citizens in Flint, Michigan became citizen scienti...
03/03/2016
Citizen Science and the Flint Water Crisis

Read the newest piece on the Commons Lab website, which discusses how citizens in Flint, Michigan became citizen scientists to combat the Flint Water Crisis http://wp.me/p1MEA1-yj

In April 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan decided to switch its water supply source from the Detroit water system to a cheaper alternative, the Flint River. But in exchange for the cheaper …

Happy Friday! Keep up to date with the Commons Lab activity not only on our page but also on our Twitter @STIPC...
02/26/2016
COMMONS LAB

Happy Friday! Keep up to date with the Commons Lab activity not only on our page but also on our Twitter @STIPCommonsLab and our Commons Lab blog http://wilsoncommonslab.org/

Mobilizing Public Participation

02/25/2016
Event Recap: Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science, and the Law

#tbt to the Commons Lab's December event featuring an expert panel who discussed the impact of intellectual property rights on #citizenscience. Check out the full video and event recap here: http://wp.me/p1MEA1-xP

With the inherent role that open data and open science plays in crowdsourcing and citizen science, understanding how intellectual property rights (IP) and legal issues could impact federal citizen …

Check out a recent piece on the Commons Lab website about the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, and how it combin...
02/18/2016
Open Data in the President’s Budget for 2017

Check out a recent piece on the Commons Lab website about the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2017, and how it combines open data, innovation, and economic growth wp.me/p1MEA1-wZ

The Obama administration seems serious about open data. The Administration’s recently released budget for fiscal year 2017 highlights the federal government’s commitment to the importance of open d...

Please join us this Thursday, Feb. 11 to hear from numerous environmental reporters and journalists at the fourth annual...
02/09/2016
EVENT: The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy

Please join us this Thursday, Feb. 11 to hear from numerous environmental reporters and journalists at the fourth annual “Year Ahead in Environment and Energy." Find more information about the event and the link to RSVP here: buff.ly/1Ppqq5A

With the recent Paris Climate Conference and the upcoming presidential election already setting the tone, 2016 is set to be a critical year for environment and energy policy. To better understand t...

Commons Lab won the citizen science blogging competition and is headed to Abu Dhabi as the official blogger for the Eye ...
09/25/2015
EoE Blog Competition Winners

Commons Lab won the citizen science blogging competition and is headed to Abu Dhabi as the official blogger for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015!

EoE Blog Competition Winners

07/06/2015
Science Hack Day DC 2015

Excellent recap from science hack day dc!

From ArtsEdge and the Commons Lab, one hundred artists and scientists came together over the course of 36 hours to solve many diverse problems with new and i...

HEY AMERICA: Please submit your ideas to the 3rd National Open Innovation Action Plan. Visit the hackpad here:
06/24/2015
Open Innovation

HEY AMERICA: Please submit your ideas to the 3rd National Open Innovation Action Plan. Visit the hackpad here:

Employing open innovation strategies — including crowdsourcing, citizen science, and challenges and prizes — enables greater public participation and collaboration to address some of the country's most pressing challenges. The United States open innovation commitments in the NAP 2.

Come learn about open New Horizons data mashups with Mendeley and join us for networking and drinks afterwards! July 15t...
06/23/2015
NASA’s New Horizons: Innovation, Collaboration and Accomplishment in Science and Technology |...

Come learn about open New Horizons data mashups with Mendeley and join us for networking and drinks afterwards! July 15th 4pm - 6pm at the Wilson Center

With the NASA New Horizons spacecraft on its final approach to its primary target - the icy dwarf planet Pluto - now is the perfect time to reflect on some of the knowledge we've already gained from the mission, and to anticipate the new discoveries that are waiting to be made.

The Commons Lab at the Wilson Center is excited to announce Washington DC's first ever Science Hack Day on May16th and 1...
04/01/2015
Event: DC Science Hack Day

The Commons Lab at the Wilson Center is excited to announce Washington DC's first ever Science Hack Day on May16th and 17th!

The Commons Lab is excited to announce Washington DC's first ever Science Hack Day: a free 48 hour event starting May 16th where civic minded and creative people come together to prototype innovati...

Start making at a space near you! Check out this comprehensive maker map:
03/30/2015
Find and Map Maker Resources

Start making at a space near you! Check out this comprehensive maker map:

The Maker Map is an ongoing open source project which aims to create a global database of maker resources - from workspaces to incubators - which is powered by the maker community and easily searchable on any device.

New Reports on Citizen Science from the European and Intellectual Property perspectives have just been releasedhttp://wi...
02/09/2015
New Reports on Citizen Science from the European and Intellectual Property Perspectives

New Reports on Citizen Science from the European and Intellectual Property perspectives have just been released
http://wilsoncommonslab.org/2015/02/09/new-reports-on-citizen-science-from-the-european-and-intellectual-property-perspectives/

The Commons Lab at the Wilson Center is releasing two new reports today that address different challenges facing citizen science: One examining the policy implications of a range of successful citi...

Attending the Citizen Science Association in San Jose next week?  Join us for a BioBlitz!
02/02/2015
Citizen Science Association 2015 San Jose BioBlitz

Attending the Citizen Science Association in San Jose next week? Join us for a BioBlitz!

Join us as we document the biodiversity of parks and green spaces within walking distance of the San Jose Convention Center. We will be encouraging nature observations during the entire Citizen Science Association Conference (11-12 February 2015). We will also be hoisting a mini-bioblitz on Thursday…

NOAA highlights keynote address by Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Spinrad during the Tracking a Changing Climate forum at t...
01/26/2015
Highlights Archive

NOAA highlights keynote address by Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Spinrad during the Tracking a Changing Climate forum at the Commons Lab in November. http://www.oesd.noaa.gov/archive.php?id=CITIZEN_SCIENCE

Note:This article is drawn from a keynote by NOAA Chief Scientist, Dr. Richard Spinrad, at a forum hosted by the U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program and the Wilson Center Commons Lab. With a focus on the vital role of citizen science, the forum was entitled, Tracking a Changing Climate. Citi…

Citizen Science: Theory And Practice is a new journal being launched in 2015 to provide a central space for scholarly ex...
01/22/2015
Journal for citizen science to launch in 2015

Citizen Science: Theory And Practice is a new journal being launched in 2015 to provide a central space for scholarly exchange in order to advance citizen science. Find out how you can contribute at http://theoryandpractice.citizenscienceassociation.org/

A new peer-reviewed journal focusing on advancing the field of citizen science will be making its debut later this year. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice will bring together citizen scientist ...

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, praises open source science journals and unveils the Nutrient Sensor Challenge...
12/17/2014

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA Administrator, praises open source science journals and unveils the Nutrient Sensor Challenge. Find out more on our blog in the coming weeks...

"Involve me and I will understand" a Chinese proverb that encapsulates citizen science, says James Curran, Scottish EPA ...
12/04/2014

"Involve me and I will understand" a Chinese proverb that encapsulates citizen science, says James Curran, Scottish EPA #CitObsConf2014

Don't miss out tomorrow! Live webcast from 2-4pm EST on how citizen scientists can aid in tracking climate change.  Watc...
11/17/2014
Tracking a Changing Climate: Citizen Science Contributions to the National Climate Assessment |...

Don't miss out tomorrow! Live webcast from 2-4pm EST on how citizen scientists can aid in tracking climate change. Watch the live webcast on the website below.

The vision for the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) includes creating a set of of indicators - measures of key physical, ecological, and societal variables and values - that would inform and support decision-making about climate changes, impacts, vulnerabilities, and responses. This roundtabl…

Interested in how citizen science can plug into a national climate change tracking system?  Join us for a public forum o...
11/03/2014
Tracking a Changing Climate: Citizen Science Contributions to the National Climate Assessment |...

Interested in how citizen science can plug into a national climate change tracking system? Join us for a public forum on Nov. 18th to hear more.

The vision for the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) includes creating a set of of indicators - measures of key physical, ecological, and societal variables and values - that would inform and support decision-making about climate changes, impacts, vulnerabilities, and responses. This roundtabl…

NASA Launches New One-Stop-Shop Website for Citizen Science and Open Innovation
10/28/2014
NASA Launches New Citizen Science Website

NASA Launches New One-Stop-Shop Website for Citizen Science and Open Innovation

NASASolve debuted last month as a one-stop-shop for prizes and challenges that are seeking contributions from people like you. Don’t worry you need not be a rocket scientist to apply. The ge...

UN Big Data Climate Challenge Winners http://wp.me/p1MEA1-nw
09/11/2014
UN Big Data Climate Challenge Winners

UN Big Data Climate Challenge Winners http://wp.me/p1MEA1-nw

What happens when you bring together the forces of innovation, big data and climate change? The following amazing winners of the United Nations "Big Data Climate Challenge." As the barriers to access big data drop the ability for innovation increases and the results are incredible. "The Big Data Climate Challenge is a global competition hosted by United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary-General on big data. [ 894 more words. ]

New Paper on Liability of Citizen Science Data
09/08/2014
New Paper on Liability of Citizen Science Data

New Paper on Liability of Citizen Science Data

Agency Liability Stemming from Citizen-Generated Data by Bailey Smith, JD Published September 5, 20145 New ways to gather data are on the rise. One of these ways is through citizen science. According to a new paper by Bailey Smith, JD, federal agencies… [ 107 more words. ]

An Exploratory Study on Barriers
09/08/2014
An Exploratory Study on Barriers

An Exploratory Study on Barriers

Barriers and Accelerators to Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science in Federal Agencies: An Exploratory Study Draft Summary for Discussion — September 5, 2014 The Commons Lab within the Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program conducted… [ 1519 more words. ]

EVENT: National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, Thursday September 4th, 1-2:30pm.
08/27/2014
EVENT: National Plan for Civil Earth Observations

EVENT: National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, Thursday September 4th, 1-2:30pm.

Thursday, September 4th, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, 6th Floor Boardroom In July 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) released the National Plan for Civil Earth Observations. Developed… [ 235 more words. ]

08/20/2014
Data Journalism and Policymaking: A Changing Landscape

Video for Data Journalism and Policymaking: A Changing Landscape has been posted!

What is data journalism? Why does it matter? How has the maturing field of data science changed the direction of journalism and global investigative reportin...

Map For Ebola with American Red Cross! http://wp.me/p1MEA1-mN
08/19/2014
Map For Ebola with American Red Cross

Map For Ebola with American Red Cross! http://wp.me/p1MEA1-mN

The American Red Cross presents another opportunity to help First Responders on the ground through Open Street Map! Will you be our crowd? We are mapping in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Multiple aid organizations, including the Red… [ 214 more words. ]

New Blog Post: Monitoring Arms Control Compliance With Web Intelligence http://wp.me/p1MEA1-mD
08/11/2014
Monitoring Arms Control Compliance With Web Intelligence

New Blog Post: Monitoring Arms Control Compliance With Web Intelligence http://wp.me/p1MEA1-mD

Traditional monitoring of arms control treaties, agreements, and commitments has required the use of National Technical Means (NTM)—large satellites, phased array radars, and other technological solutions. NTM was a good solution when the treaties focused… [ 683 more words. ]

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Point of Contact: Anne Bowser & Elizabeth Tyson Commons Lab Science and Technology Innovation Program Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Washington, DC

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