Arfon Smith and David Eagleman – Digital Science Speaker Series
In the last few months, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting a number of visitors here in our London office and have them share their expertise as part of the Digital Science speaker series.
Our guests have been kind enough to let us share the videos of their talks here on the blog.
The first is a talk by Arfon Smith, technical lead of Zooniverse and GalaxyZoo. Arfon is an astrophysicist by training as well as a software developer, formerly working at the Sanger Institute before taking the technical reins for Galaxy Zoo – one of the most notable citizen science projects of late.
Galaxy Zoo launched in July 2007 and asked members of the public to classify 1 million galaxies by their shape. Four years later, a community of nearly 400,000 citizen scientist have between them provided more than 250 million data classifications across eight Zooniverse projects. Galaxy Zoo worked because there were *only* 1 million galaxies; in the future datasets are projected to reach volumes that will make purely human-based analysis impractical.
In this talk, Arfon reviews the current state of crowdsourced citizen science and argues that smarter approaches must be developed if citizen science is to continue to be a useful tool for data-rich research
The second talk is by neuroscientist and author, David Eagleman. David is a researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action and the Initiative on Neuroscience and Law. Among other things, he is well known for this work on time perception, synesthesia, and the legal implications of neuroscience. He is also the bestselling author of ‘Sum’, a sublime collection of essays providing (presumably) fictional accounts of the afterlife. And in 2010 he published one of the first ‘books’ to make use of the iPad’s potential: ‘Why the Net Matters’.
In this talk, David tells us more about his latest work: ‘Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain’.
Stay tuned for more from our speaker series. And do drop me a note if you’re passing through town – we’re always open to new talk ideas.