To allow us to host what promises to be a fantasitic evening in August with Alice Sheppard (who runs the Galaxy Zoo forum and is co-founder of not one but two Skeptics in the Pubs!) we need to get her from London to Aberdeen. Help us do this by giving what you can! Anything we raise over the £150 target will be used to bring more fab speakers to the granite city.
Astronomy has been the subject of wonder and speculation for as long as historical records exist. As with all science, people got some things right - and, even with the best methods available, other things wrong.
Since 2007, Alice Sheppard has run the Galaxy Zoo Forum, the discussion area for an online astronomy project with 300,000 members worldwide. Galaxy Zoo has so far produced 21 papers, whose authors and acknowledged contributors include several ordinary citizens. Some of its findings were a direct result of questions or collections of objects created by the users, who became "Citizen scientists".
Alice takes us through some of the best and worst of astronomical history, and what ancient and modern mistakes are made today. We will hear the questions people have come to Galaxy Zoo with, the ways in which biases were found and dealt with by the scientists and participants, the beautiful and inspiring projects created by untrained people and the scientific thinking they learnt for themselves to apply.
We also take a look at citizen science in general, how Galaxy Zoo taught large numbers of people to understand and use science, and explore what this might mean for skepticism.
Alice co-founded Cardiff and Hackney Skeptics in the Pub. She has also been an admin of various things, an English and thrown-off-the-course science teacher, an office supervisor for a charity for disabled people, and an occasional astronomy writer. She is currently in London doing an MSc in Astrophysics.
In the meantime, you can classify a few galaxies for yourself at www.galaxyzoo.org
Give what you can and hopefully we will see you all in August!
If you want to know more about Aberdeen Skeptics in the Pub check out our website, find us on facebook (search "Aberdeen Skeptics") or tweet us @ABDN_SITP or @hapsci [Heather] or @nonisa [Sonia]