Continuing role of enthusiasts at the front line of research

Pt 2432
I’ve been listening to a lot of BBC podcasts (audio programs) lately, mostly their science shows – here’s a great one from a couple weeks ago…

‘Amateur’ is not a term that’s always considered as a compliment, but it should be, argue amateur scientists. The word amateur comes from the French ‘amour’, meaning someone who loves what they do. At one stage in the past, nearly all scientists were amateurs. Quentin Cooper looks into the continuing role of enthusiasts at the front line of research. He is joined by Dr Adam Rutherford from the journal Nature, Professor Rob Fuller, who co-ordinates the work of 30,000 volunteers for the British Trust for Ornithology, prize-winning young scientist Hannah Stuart, and founder President of the Society for Amateur Scientists in the USA, Dr Shawn Carlson. He also visits the garden observatory of Tom Boles, who monitors 12,000 galaxies for exploding stars from his home in Suffolk.

If there’s any interest we could post up our podcast playlists (OPML file) – or just a list of sciencey/maker type shows. Post up in the comments if you’d like this!

14 thoughts on “Continuing role of enthusiasts at the front line of research

  1. Listen to Material World every week. The BBC has a load of worthy Science programmes on Radio 4 every year. Well worth listening to.

  2. It is well true that we need the input of amateurs in the scientific community. As a particle physicist i know that many of my colleagues at some point lose there natural curiosity that amateurs most often have and therefor miss the point by taking to much things for granted. Guess this is true for other fields of science. However, fields like particle physics are more often too complex for amateurs to grasp … but even talking to them and seeing things from a more naive point of view would help many scientist.

    I’d also love the list of podcasts.

  3. Yes please! I listen to Material World (and Digital Planet), would be interested in seeing your other choices.

    Anyone listen to This Week in Science on the TWiT network? Any good?

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