Stargazers discover new comets, fish lovers observe unknown behavioural patterns of their fish in the aquarium and bird watchers count the bird species in their garden – “Citizen Science” is hardly a new concept in research, but it has been experiencing something of a renaissance over recent years thanks to the Internet. It is a form of science that allows non-professionals to participate in scientific projects. They observe, carry out measurements and evaluate data.
Doubts are constantly raised over the reliability of data obtained in this way. However, laypersons have provided research with valuable findings in many cases. This applies to animal observations in particular. The many animal lovers and conservationists worldwide who are connected via the Internet form an observation network that can beneficially complement technical systems, such as Icarus. The Icarus researchers have therefore set up a platform for interested non-professionals via which their findings can be directly fed into the scientists’ database.