Tag Archive | Zooites

Galaxy Zoo’s 10th Anniversary


Galaxy Zoo is celebrating ten years since launch next month, and as part of the festivities the science team are having a meeting in Oxford from 10th-12th July. Unfortunately we didn’t think it was feasible to invite the hundreds of thousands of you from all over the world who have contributed to the project over the last ten years, but the good news is that all of the talks from the meeting will be interactively live-streamed so that anyone can join in the discussion! See the schedule above for details on who is speaking at the meeting. Details of how to join the live stream will be released closer to the event.

There will also be an Oxford SciBar public event on the Monday night. All who are able to make it are welcome to join but don’t worry if you can’t, there will be a full podcast of the evening released shortly after the event!

AAAS Symposium in Feb. 2015: Cutting-Edge Research with 1 Million Citizen Scientists

Some colleagues and I successfully proposed for a symposium on citizen science at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, CA in February 2015. (The AAAS is one of the world’s largest scientific societies and is the publisher of the Science journal.) Our session will be titled “Citizen Science from the Zooniverse: Cutting-Edge Research with 1 Million Scientists.” It refers to the more than one million volunteers participating in a variety of citizen science projects. This milestone was reached in February, and the Guardian and other news outlets reported on it.


The Zooniverse began with Galaxy Zoo, which recently celebrated its seventh anniversary. Of course, Galaxy Zoo has been very successful, and it led to the development of a variety of citizen science projects coordinated by the Zooniverse in diverse fields such as biology, zoology, climate science, medicine, and astronomy. For example, projects include: Snapshot Serengeti, where people classify different animals caught in millions of camera trap images; Cell Slider, where they classify images of cancerous and ordinary cells and contribute to cancer research; Old Weather, where participants transcribe weather data from log books of Arctic exploration and research ships at sea between 1850 and 1950, thus contributing to climate model projections; and Whale FM, where they categorize the recorded sounds made by killer and pilot whales. And of course, in addition to Galaxy Zoo, there are numerous astronomy-related projects, such as Disk Detective, Planet Hunters, the Milky Way Project, and Space Warps.


We haven’t confirmed all of the speakers for our AAAS session yet, but we plan to have six speakers who will introduce and present results from the Zooniverse, Galaxy Zoo, Snapshot Serengeti, Old Weather, Cell Slider, and Space Warps. I’m sure it will be exciting and we’re all looking forward to it!

She's an Astronomer: Did we really need that series?

A long time ago when I initiated the She’s an Astronomer series I came up with the idea that it would be nice to ask everyone the same questions so that we get a overview of what lots of different (female) astronomers thought about the same issues. I deliberately set up a range of questions to allow the interviewees to focus on both the positive aspects of being involved in astronomy (and particularly the wonderful science Galaxy Zoo does) as well as any negative aspects of being a female in a very male dominated group.


And just in case there are any doubters out there I want to make it very clear that astronomy, both professional and amateur, remains very male dominated at almost all levels (and in professional astronomy, with declining participation the more senior the role). The UK’s professional astronomer group, the RAS has the following statement on the gender make-up of professional astronomers in the UK (admittedly now from 13 year old data):

“The 1998 PPARC/RAS survey for the first time enquired into the gender of members of the UK astronomical community. Women comprised 22% of the population of PhD students, which compares favourably with the 20% of students accepted for undergraduate places in physics and astronomy. However, only 7% of permanent university staff in astronomy are female. Of the UK IAU membership in 1998, 9.2% are female.”

and from our American friends at AAS, they provide a more recently updated table of Statistics which shows the encouraging statistic that in the US now about 40% of the PhD students are now women (but still only about 10% of permanent staff).

Statistics on amateur astronomers are a bit harder to find. You’d think our own Zooite database would help, but unfortunately we don’t track that kind of information. From experience though (as a speaker) I know amateur astronomers are an extremely male dominated group and disappointingly there has been very little change in this over the last few decades. This article in Sky and Telescope (which incidentally pictures one of the professionals we interviewed – Prof. Meg Urry) celebrates the improvement in the numbers of professional women astronomers since the late 70s, but reports that the situation hasn’t changed nearly as much in amateur astronomy: “According to Sky & Telescope reader polls, in 1979 only 6 percent of subscribers were female. By 2002 that number had grown to [only?] 9 percent.” And thanks to my friends on Twitter I found more recent S&T reader demographics which lists only 5% female readers as of January 2010. So that’s very disappointing. And in case you think such figures are somehow S&T only, my friends at the Jodcast tell me their mid 2010 survey of listeners resulted in a figure of 14% women (consistent with 9% women from 2007 within statistical uncertainty).

Anyway back to our She’s an Astronomer series and let’s see what the women who are involved have to say about all this. As it’s been several months now since the last post I’ll remind you that the questions we asked ranged from the personal (to give a bit of background) to more general. They were:

  • How did you first hear about Galaxy Zoo?
  • What has been your main involvement in the Galaxy Zoo project?
  • What do you like most about being involved in Galaxy Zoo?
  • What do you think is the most interesting astronomical question Galaxy Zoo will help to solve?
  • How/when did you first get interested in Astronomy?
  • What (if any) do you think are the main barriers to women’s involvement in Astronomy?
  • Do you have any particular role models in Astronomy?

Also if you remember we interviewed 16 different women – which comprised all 8 of the professional astronomers (from students, to senior professor) who had been involved in Galaxy Zoo at that time, plus 8 of the Zooites.

The full list of interviewees was:

I’ve been wondering for quite some time if the group agreed with each other on anything, and if we can come up with any interesting conclusions by looking at the different answers to each question. As some of you know I’ve been a bit distracted (little things like having a second baby, and getting some exciting Zoo2 results out), but I have now collated the answers to two of the most general questions (“What do you think is the most interesting astronomical question Galaxy Zoo will help to solve?” and “What (if any) do you think are the main barriers to women’s involvement in Astronomy?”) and plan to present my summary of the responses in upcoming blog posts.

I was going to chicken out and start with the science – the less controversial question (and where there was the most agreement), but thinking about it, perhaps it’s better to get the negative out of the way first, so I’ll leave the exciting science answers for next time and instead start with:

What (if any) do you think are the main barriers to women’s involvement in Astronomy?

Here there was a lot of disagreement, but some interesting trends with the level of formal education/career progression in the field (unfortunately in the sense that there were more perceived problems the longer a person had worked in astronomy).

For the most part the Zooites focussed on the problem of presenting science (to both girls and boys) as a boring/hard subject in schools (and to a lesser extent in the media). Our youngest interviewee, Hannah (who is working on her IGCSEs as a home schooled student) summarized the general view most clearly “because it’s taught so badly at school, it shuts down any interest”, and Alice (a science writer and former science teacher) agrees: “I think poor education is a far worse barrier than gender”. Gemma (a postgraduate student in engineering) muses that perhaps it’s because: “maths and science are [not] presented in an interesting way for girls at school and they are perceived as hard, rigid, dusty disciplines”. And Julia (an amateur astronomer with a degree in Economics) finishes it off by saying that she “think[s] that the media is partly to blame for propagating this myth by getting it badly wrong when presenting some science programmes and portraying maths as something we all hated at school”.

There were some positive views from the Zooites though. Hanny (a Dutch school teacher) expressed a her view that if you’re determined enough you’ll make it: “I can’t think of something that would’ve stopped me to be honest”, and there was a view expressed by the volunteers with more life experience that things were improving with time, for example Julia says: “I think things have improved slightly since [I was at school] but the popular myth still exists that maths is hard and science is stuffy and boring” and Els (a secretary in Belgium) says: “as you can see with the Galaxy Zoo community there are lots of women involved of all ages and backgrounds. So I think we’re getting there, eventually.” Aida (a stay home Mom in Puerto Rico, originally from the Dominican Republic) agrees saying “now I see that the universities [in the Dominican Republic] are full of women studying and that makes me so proud. There are no barriers now for us”.

And our ever resourceful Zooites provided some suggestions for improving the first formal introduction to science. Gemma says it best “if people could see more clearly at a young age how many cool things you can do with maths and science and the sense of achievement you get from problem solving, that they aren’t dry subjects that you learn by rote and that there are still many interesting things to discover, I’m sure a lot more people would be interested, be they women or men.”

From the younger members of the professional astronomers there was really good news in a generally positive feeling that the days of really strong barriers/discrimination are over. Anna (a Masters student) told us that “A female office mate and I were discussing how we don’t think there have been any obstacles for us”, Manda (a recent PhD recipient) says; “I don’t think astronomy is any longer a male dominated subject” and that “today [the many barriers which were around 10-20 years ago are] much less of an issue”, Carie (another recent PhD recipient) says that “I’ve never personally felt any discrimination as a female Astronomer,” and Kate (who recently left professional astronomy after completing her PhD and a first post doctoral position says: “I was always given enormous encouragement from my peers and never felt discriminated against.”. We even hear that (again from Anna) “A male office mate brought up that he believes it is easier to be a woman than a man in astronomy”. Unfortunately the picture coming from the more senior astronomers is not so rosy, and our most senior professional Prof. Meg Urry even explains that this was a shift in opinion for her as she remained in the field: “As an undergraduate and graduate student […] I frankly didn’t expect any problems and I didn’t notice any.”, but “30 years in physics and astronomy have shown me [..] the huge pile of female talent that goes wasted every year.” and that “When I see young women today with those attitudes” (i.e.. that there is no problem), “I find myself hoping that in their case, it will be true” (although she carefully adds that “I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be oblivious, as I was – it probably kept me from dissipating energy fighting the machine”). Unconsciously addressing the view of Anna’s male peer that it might be easier for the women than the men now, she describes that even 30 years ago she was being told that “as a woman, I would benefit (the implication was, unfairly) from affirmative action” and concludes “When people say this today, as they often do, I have to laugh. . I sure do wish it were true [..]”

Many of the professional astronomers focussed on the problems the career path poses. Carie explains the situation: “An astronomer must spend much of her 20s and 30s moving from institution to institution, completing a graduate degree and a couple of postdoctoral positions before finding a permanent position.” and Kate (who gave up on professional astronomy because of her dislike of the career path) says: “I don’t think the academic career path suits women particularly well. […] I personally wasn’t keen on the post-doc circuit of moving about every few years…”, Manda agrees saying: “the need to move around frequently for postdoc positions often means people have to make very tough choices”, and Karen (that’s me – and I’m a fairly senior postdoc now) says: “to remain in a career as a researcher is very difficult for both men and women, and I believe slightly more so for women” and I suggest that this career path “doesn’t seem optimized to retain the best researchers – merely the most persistent or flexible”, but Manda points out that “in my experience there are many men who worry about this too and many women who don’t so I don’t think this is a barrier that is specific to women by any means.”

However, another problem posed by the research career path is the balancing of duel careers, something which preferentially hits women scientists as I explained: “because of the current gender imbalance, a higher proportion of female scientists than male scientists are married to other scientists” and as I know from personal experience “the balancing of two careers as junior academics at the same time is something which is really very difficult and stressful”. Carie agrees: “there are numerous problems to consider if both partners are academics, a common situation for female astronomers”.

Worries about combining a life in research with having a family are also mentioned several times. Carie says that if you’re “thinking about starting a family, it can be very difficult [..]”. and from Vardha (another senior postdoc): “I think that it must be difficult for women to have children while pursuing an astronomical career, since both tasks are quite time demanding.” Alice is the only Zooite to mention the demands of family, but points out that for many women (herself included) “Having a family one day is important enough to me that I would choose that over a career if I was forced to pick one or the other. ” Of course as Vardha says, “there are many women in astronomy who prove that it is possible [to do both]” and in fact we have two examples of professional astronomers with children who were interviewed (that’s me and Meg), although I did say that “having children while a postdoc [was] a difficult choice to have had to make” (and would add that the impact on my staying power in the field is yet to be determined as I do not have that sought after permanent job yet). Alice mentions three more female astronomer role models with children (Cecilia Payne-Gaposkin, Jocelyn Bell-Burnell and Vera Rubin) and says in particular that a blog post on Vera Rubin was “very encouraging on that front” (i.e. the ability to balance astronomical research and having children), but then Manda says that “There are very few female astronomers in very senior academic positions and even fewer who have chosen to have a family”, and goes on to comment that “This does sometimes make me doubt if I can pull off both having a successful academic career as well as a family because there are so few examples of women who have actually achieved this!”

Our most senior professional astronomers (our two Profs: Meg and Pamela) both have comments about the sometimes poor climate and the still prevalent (but usually subtle) discrimination. Pamela says that “I think a lot of academia is still very much an old boys network”, and describes examples of subtle discrimination which just make the women feel they don’t belong (for example “too few women’s bathrooms”, “equipment [..] designed for tall, flat chested, heavy object lifting men” etc.). Meg says that 30 years in the field have shown here that “Fewer women are sought after as speakers, assistant professors, prize winners, than men of comparable ability”. Going back to the school years, Zooite Julia says that “Girls just weren’t encouraged to take sciences”, and Aida recalls how when she was at school (in the Dominican Republic) “girls were supposed to marry young and be housewives”. And not to depress you further, but some of our 16 interviewees had some horrible stories of less subtle discrimination to share. Meg has “seen talented women ignored, overlooked, and sometimes denigrated to the point where they abandon their dreams”, Pamela recalls the common assumption that “since I’m in a physics department, [..] I must be a secretary”. And I remembered that “It was hard to be a teenage girl who was good at maths/science and I spent a lot of time learning to hide it”. From the Zooites, Alice mentioned Cecilia Payne-Gaposkin and Jocelyn Bell-Burnell who she comments were “both treated outrageously unfairly” and has some sad stories of her own to share too.

But moving back to the positive I’ll say again that there was a real sense that things are improving – just very slowly. Pamela (who remember is based in the US which has the worst maternity leave policy of any developed country and poor health care for most people not in stable jobs) concludes her comments with the statement that ” I suspect it will take at least a generation (and major reform to things like maternity leave and health care) for real change to take place, but I believe the change has started.”. I agree saying ” I hope eventually society’s perception of women in science will change […], but I think this will be a very slow process.”

And finally as encouragement for all the girls and women out there interested in astronomy as a career I’m going to reproduce almost the whole last paragraph of Meg’s answer with some helpful suggestions for getting around the problems which remain.

“[..] let me keep it simple: there is discrimination, and it is done by all of us, men and women both, quite unconsciously for the most part. There is a large body of research in the social science literature (which, unfortunately, natural scientists rarely read) documenting the natural tendency of all of us – people raised in a society where men dominate leadership roles in most fields – to undervalue women. I hope young women don’t experience what I did – and there’s a good chance they won’t – but every young woman or under-represented minority scientist should learn about this “unconscious bias” so that, should they ever find themselves getting discouraged or feeling inadequate as scientists, they will correct for the effect of a harmful environment and recognize their own considerable achievements and talents. Or just call me! I’ll be happy to try to reassure them. It’s probably not them, it’s that they are trying to do science in an environment that is unwittingly toxic.”

So that’s why I thought we needed a blog series showcasing the women of Galaxy Zoo. Next time – all the fun science which after all is the reason we all tough it out when we have to!

Post-starburst galaxies paper submitted!

Today’s blog post is from Ivy Wong:

Hello Zoo-ites!  I’m a work colleague of Kevin’s and I just recently submitted a Galaxy Zoo paper too. I just wanted to let you know all about it because I also wanted to thank you all for the great work which you’ve done in classifying so many galaxies. I am quite excited by the results and hope that it will be published soon.  My research interests spans from understanding the processes of star formation to the evolution of galaxies and the Universe as we see today.

photoIvy’s research assistants

The Galaxy Zoo paper that I just submitted consists of nearby galaxies which appear to be transitioning from being  star-forming to  passively-evolving galaxies.  In particular, I looked at a sample of post-starburst galaxies (PSG). These PSG had a recent burst of star formation but they have since ceased forming stars.  Thanks to the compilation of all the morphology classifications and the merger votes produced by the Zoo-ites, we were able to determine that most of these PSG have an indeterminate morphology with a higher fraction of interaction than regular spirals or ellipticals. It is possible that these interactions were responsible for the burst of star formation as well as the disturbed galaxy morphology.

The majority of PSG are low-mass but most of their stellar distribution already resemble those of ellipticals. However, they are still somewhat “green” and will likely turn red once the starlight of the youngest population of stars start to fade.  Therefore these nearby PSG  will probably end up as redder, low-mass and more passively-evolving galaxies.  This result agrees with previous works asserting that the most massive and passively-evolving galaxies were formed at earlier times in the history of the Universe.

Galaxy Zoo gets highlighted by the 2010 Decadal Survey

Every decade, the US astronomy community gets its leaders together to write up a report on the state of the field and to recommend and rank major projects that should be supported by the government over the next decade. It’s a blue print, a wish list and often also a sober exercise in what to fund (a little) and what to cut (a lot). The current Decadal Survey was finally released by the US National Academies last Friday and every astronomer is poring over it to see if their project or telescope is ranked highly.

Galaxy Zoo isn’t competing for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to launch a space observatory, but it did get not just one but two mentions in the 2010 Decadal Survey, one in the text and a figure. For those of you who are keen to read the whole thing for themselves, you can get the report at the National Academies website here (you have to click on download and give them your details to get the free PDF download). Here on the blog we only show you the highlights, i.e. the Galaxy Zoo mentions. From the text in the section on “Benefits of Astronomy to the Nation” where they discuss how “Astronomy Engages the Public in Science”:

Astronomy on television has come a long way since the 1980 PBS premier of Carl Sagan’s ground-breaking multipart documentary Cosmos. Many cable channels offer copious programming on a large variety of astronomical topics, and the big three networks occasionally offer specials on the universe too. Another barometer of the public’s cosmic curiosity comes from the popularity of IMAX-format films on space science, and the number of big-budget Hollywood movies that derive their plotlines directly or indirectly from space themes (including five of the top ten grossing movies of all time in America). The internet plays a pervasive role for public astronomy, attracting world-wide audiences on websites such as Galaxy Zoo (www.galaxyzoo.org, last accessed July 6, 2010) and on others that feature astronomical events, such as NASA missions. Astronomy applications are available for most mobile devices. Social networking technology even plays a role, e.g., tweets from the Spitzer NASA IPAC (http://twitter.com/cool_cosmos, last accessed July 6, 2010).

They also have a lovely figure, which has a small blooper in it (see if you can spot it!). Word is that this is going to be corrected in the final version:


Thank you all for making Galaxy Zoo such a success!

Top 10 American Style

As I’ve spent most of the last month in the US, and I saw a request from Curtis when I last updated the Top 10 cities for the states most infiltrated by Zooites.
Picture 13

In 10th place, Massachusetts
In 9th, Oregon
8th, Washington
7th, Virginia
6th, Florida
5th, Pennsylvania
4th, Texas
3rd, New York
2nd, Illinois
1st, California

I think we need to sort this by population, but in the meantime I can confirm for Adam – who asked the question – that there are indeed Zooites in Ulaan Baatar.

She's an Astronomer: Aida Berges


Entrevista de Aida en español

Aida Berges (“lovethetropics“) lives in Puerto Rico with her husband and children. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she studied there in an all girl Catholic school (Colegio del Apostolado) where she was inspired by her her history teacher (Rosa Maria Reyes Feriz). After graduation she started a university degree in Law where Supreme Court Judge Ana Rosa Berges Dreyfuss (a family member) became a beloved teacher. After finishing her degree in English at a different university, she worked various secretarial jobs and as a translator. She moved to Puerto Rico to live with her eldest brother and his wife, and there met husband (Benito Garcia Mendez). Her main job for the last almost 30 years has been as a dedicated wife and mother to children Benny and Laura (now grown; Benny works in retail and Laura is finishing her Masters’s degree in Psychology). The family spent most of this time in Puerto Rico, except for a 7 year spell in New Jersey where the children were born. Aida loves to read history, science fiction and fantasy.  She has 3 dogs and one cat.  And she loves the ocean, especially going to the beach or just watching the waves.

  • How did you first hear about Galaxy Zoo?

I was reading CNN online and found an article describing how a very young teacher from the Netherlands had found a new kind of object and it was called Hanny’s Voorwerp.  It was an article to celebrate the first year of Galaxy Zoo.  I went to Galaxy Zoo immediately and my life changed forever…It was like coming home for me.

  • What has been your main involvement in the Galaxy Zoo project?

I am part of the Irregulars Project and also the Hyper-Velocity Stars Project (and check out their blog).  In the Irregulars Project I look for irregulars galaxies and send them to Richard Proctor to be integrated into the hunt.  We now have more than 17,000 irregulars and the numbers keep growing every day. And we still need the help of the Zooites with their clicks on the Irregular Hunt (check out the Irregulars Project forum discussion).   I send Richard between 100 and 500 possible irregulars every week. I also worked on the three Pea hunts, the Mergers hunt, the Voorwerpjes hunt and the Supernova hunt. And I found an unusual green object ages ago which has been dubbed Aida’s disturbed green mystery object and has been an object of the day (OOTD). We still don’t know what it is.

Both major projects I’m involved have been pure coincidence or serendipity.  With the Irregulars Project I was the one getting the galaxies for the hunt and when we decided to write the first paper about astronomy without being astronomers I was included.  I classified by myself 24,000 galaxies to clean the sample from spirals, elliptical galaxies, artifacts and unidentifiable blobs.  Then classified 12,000 more!

For the HVSs project it was pure coincidence that I found two in about five minutes.  I had to Google the term Hyper-velocity Stars because I had no idea they existed.  Posted it on the newbies thread and I had to post an “Object of the Day” (OOTD on High Velocity Stars) and Thomas Jennings gave me the idea to post the known HVSs. Zookeeper Jordan read the OOTD and got so excited a group of fearless zooites decided to look for more, I am one of them…we are almost ready to post the first entry on a new thread for them on Galaxy Zoo. So far there are only 16 or 17 known HVSs.  But we are still very optimist we can find more of them even if it is for sheer numbers. (We zooites are bigger than the Swiss Army.)

  • What do you like most about being involved in Galaxy Zoo?
What I like the most is helping scientists discover new things and being there when that happens. And the people at the Zoo are wonderful, starting with the Moderators, Zookeepers and Zooites.  For me it feels like coming home.
  • What do you think is the most interesting astronomical question Galaxy Zoo will help to solve?
With every question we answer we get ten new questions. First I would like to know the place of the Irregular Galaxies in the universe. Then would like to know if there are other Voorwerpen and would like to know how the Voorwerpje saga ends. And how the spiderweb ring galaxies (Eds note: Aida’s name for ring galaxies with very low surface brightness extended rings like this one) are formed. They are the most beautiful galaxies for me. And how the shockwave ring galaxies are formed too. So many questions, so little coffee.

  • How/when did you first get interested in Astronomy?
When I was young I lived in the country so the moon and stars were spectacular…ever since I first saw the stars I have been interested.  I started to surf the internet because I wanted to read everything I could about astronomy.
  • What (if any) do you think are the main barriers to women’s involvement in Astronomy?
Well, I come from a third world country, the Dominican Republic.  In my time girls were supposed to marry young and be housewives, but now I see that the universities there are full of women studying and that makes me so proud. There are no barriers now for us, maybe just a few reluctant men, but we are winning.

  • Do you have any particular role models in Astronomy?

I would have to say that the Zookeepers are my role models because before getting involved on Galaxy Zoo I didn’t know any astronomers. Chris Lintott and Jordan Raddick specially because we are doing the Irregulars Project together. And Jordan Raddick is double because he is helping us with the HVSs. And Bill Keel (NGC3314), I am helping him get more possible Voorwepjes. Thomas Jennings started the Newbies thread and has gone back to college to study Astronomy.  That’s what I call commitment. The person who inspired me to love science in general was my sister Adolfina.  She is a medical doctor with specialties in Pediatrics and Hematology.  She and her husband, who is also a hematologist discovered an element in the blood unknown until they found it.  She is also the best and most loving sister anyone can have.

I would also like to include thanks to my parents Rafael Bergés Lara and Thelma García de Bergés, and my Uncle Manuel Bergés Lara and Aunt Carmen

Entrevista de Aida en español

This post is part of the ongoing She’s an Astronomer series on the Galaxy Zoo Blog is support of the IYA2009 cornerstone project of the same name (She’s an Astronomer). We are listed on the She’s an Astronomer website in their Profiles. This is the 7th post of the series. So far we have interviewed

  • Hanny Van Arkel (Galaxy Zoo volunteer and finder of Hanny’s Voorwerp).
  • Dr. Vardha Nicola Bennert (researcher at UCSB involved in Hanny’s Voorwerp followup and the “peas” project).
  • Alice Sheppard (Galaxy Zoo volunteer and forum moderator).
  • Carie Cardamone (graduate student at Yale who lead the Peas paper).
  • Gemma Couglin (“fluffyporcupine”, Galaxy Zoo volunteer and forum moderator).
  • Dr. Kate Land (original Galaxy Zoo team member and first-author of the first Galaxy Zoo scientific publication; now working in the financial world).

Still to come in the series – more Galaxy Zoo volunteers and researchers. We’re not done yet!

Galaxy Zoo motivation study paper accepted!

Our paper on the motivations of Galaxy Zoo users has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy Education Review! Now that the paper has been accepted, I have posted it on the arXiv system. Head on over and read it if you’re interested in hearing more about the interviews we did with some of you to learn what makes Galaxy Zoo appeal to you. I wrote a summary of the paper for this blog a while back, but now you can read the paper itself.

The paper should appear in the Galaxy Zoo Library in the forum soon, and Pamela, Georgia, or I would be glad to answer any questions you have about the paper there. The next step in this research is to analyze the data from the survey that many of you took, and we’re working on that step now. Updates on that will come soon. Thanks to my lovely co-authors, and of course to all of you, without whom this none of this research would be possible!