Citizen Science Frontiers with the Zooniverse: open-source infrastructure, shared tools, machine learning integration, and making space for serendipitous discovery

Dr. Laura Trouille

VP of Science Engagement and Visualization at the Adler Planetarium; Zooniverse Co-PI

Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 11am-12pm EST
This seminar can be viewed remotely via Microsoft Teams: Join here

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Helen-Nicole Kostis

The Zooniverse ( is the world’s largest platform for online citizen science, with more than 2 million participants worldwide and over 300 projects launched since 2007, from astronomy to zoology, cancer research to climate science. The platform allows researchers a way to efficiently process increasingly large datasets, particularly when coupled with machine learning. And at the same time, with so many eyes on the data, Zooniverse has led to numerous exciting serendipitous discoveries by the public of the unusual, rare, and unexpected. In this talk, I'll discuss how research teams have used the Zooniverse and profile notable successes of online citizen science from research and engagement perspectives.  I'll introduce the tools and resources the Zooniverse provides research teams to create their own online citizen science projects. Finally, I'll discuss the Zooniverse's use of hybrid human + machine classification techniques and the opportunities and open questions that have emerged.

Dr. Laura Trouille Bio Photo

Dr. Laura Trouille is Vice President of Science Engagement and Visualization at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and a Research Associate at Northwestern University. While earning her Ph.D. researching galaxy evolution, she also earned the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning’s Delta certificate for STEM education research. As part of a museum's leadership team, Dr. Trouille supports the guest engagement, visualization, and research efforts, including through Zooniverse. As Co-PI for Zooniverse, she leads the Adler's web development and research team, and works closely with the Zooniverse teams at the University of Oxford and University of Minnesota.