Galaxy Zoo wins the RAS Group Achievement Award
We’ve won a prize! The Royal Astronomical Society has given the Galaxy Zoo team – including the volunteers who have made the project the success it is – their Group Achievement Award for 2019. I will post the citation below, but mostly I’m delighted that this award recognises all those who have worked to make Galaxy Zoo a success.
Looking at the list of previous winners – the last two are the team behind ESA’s Planck satellite and the team who made the Nobel winning discovery of gravitational waves – is humbling, so this is really something to be proud of.
We’ll make plans to make sure everyone can celebrate the award when it’s presented at the National Astronomy Meeting later in the year.
Citation for the 2019 RAS Group Achievement Award (A)
The 2019 Group Achievement Award is awarded to the Galaxy Zoo team. With over ten years of engagement under their belt, the Galaxy Zoo team have contributed significantly to our knowledge of the formation and evolution of galaxies, through strong commitment to collaboration with members of the public. They have established citizen science as a standard mode of data analysis across astrophysics, and initiated new areas of research sparked by Galaxy Zoo discoveries. Their roughly 55 papers, ranging from studies disentangling morphology, environment and colour, through to studies of individual morphological characteristics, have been enabled by the team’s careful work to create catalogues and measure systematic effects inherent in the classification, before releasing the data to the community.
The Galaxy Zoo project has also inspired many similar projects across astrophysics and beyond, through the Zooniverse platform. Perhaps Galaxy Zoo’s most notable achievement is immensely effective outreach: the more than 500,000 people who have contributed to date come from a wide range of backgrounds, making participation in scientific research possible for all. Galaxy Zoo inspires and informs, and does so on an unprecedented scale. For these reasons, the Galaxy Zoo team is awarded the Group Achievement Award.