Citizen Science Project Lead, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
Chris Lintott is an English astrophysicist, working as a researcher and the Citizen Science Project Lead in the Department of Physics in the University of Oxford. He is the PI of Zooniverse, home to the Internet's largest, most popular and most successful citizen science projects. He is also the cofounder of Galaxy Zoo, an online crowdsourcing project where members of the public can volunteer their time to assist in classifying over a million galaxies; it has not only proved incredibly popular, it has also produced many unique scientific results, ranging from individual, serendipitous discoveries to those using classifications that depend on the input of everyone who's visited the site. Volunteers on the first Galaxy Zoo were asked to judge from uploaded images whether the galaxies are elliptical or spiral and, if spiral, the direction of rotation; within 24 hours of the site's launch it was receiving almost 70,000 classifications an hour. In the end, more than 50 million classifications were received by the project during its first year, contributed by more than 150,000 people. The Galaxy Zoo classifications were as good as those from professional astronomers, and were of use to a large number of researchers. Chris is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, has served as the Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium, and is the primary presenter of the BBC series The Sky at Night, having previously acted as a co-presenter alongside Patrick Moore. His research focuses on galaxies, galaxy evolution, and on the application of astrochemical models of star formation to galaxies beyond the Milky Way; particularly the use of sulphur compounds as a signature of stars that are in the process of forming.
Mary L. Gray
Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, New England
Mary L. Gray is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, New England. She maintains an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Media School, with adjunct appointments in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies, at Indiana University. Mary studied Anthropology before receiving her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2004. Her research looks at how media access and everyday uses of technologies transform people's lives. Her last book, Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press, 2009), which won awards from scholarly societies in anthropology, media studies, and sociology, looked at how young people in the rural United States use media to negotiate their sexual and gender identities, local belonging, and connections to broader, imagined communities. Mary's current book project, co-authored with computer scientist Siddharth Suri, examines digital workforces and the future of employment. The research project draws on ethnography, surveys, and back data to capture case studies of present day crowdwork on four different crowdsourcing platforms, comparing workers' experiences in the United States and India. More information about the project can be found at: research.microsoft.com/crowdwork. Mary served on the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association from 2008 through 2010 and is the Executive Program Chair for the Association's 113th Annual Meeting.