Galaxy Zoo (GZ) is among the most successful online citizen science
project ever undertaken, relying on hundreds of thousands of volunteers to
classify galaxy images. Since 2007, GZ has evolved into a "Zooniverse" of
over 20 online projects, engaging nearly a million worldwide volunteers
(from a range of ages, backgrounds and education) in scientific research.
Most GZ volunteers report being motivated by a desire to contribute to
real research, while 87% say their experience has changed their behaviour
e.g. more museum visits (34%). For under-18s, 70% were encouraged to study
a degree and 47% said GZ helped their schoolwork.
Impact: Public outreach, education, science
engagement, debate and policy development:
Inspiring, informing and educating the general public, school children,
educators and policy makers by communicating the results of PHYESTA
astronomical research through events, movies visits and training.
Influencing worldwide policy makers through the stimulation of new
Improved awareness and knowledge of astronomical discoveries, and the
importance of/progress in science in general. Improved teaching, enhanced
motivation of school children to pursue science, supported by heightened
enthusiasm/knowledge in the wider public.
The public, educators and educational organisations, governmental
organisations including recreation and tourism, international
organisations including the UN.
Direct interaction with ~100,000 school children and members of the wider
UK public over REF period. Engagement with many more worldwide through
events, TV programmes, movies, webinars, and press releases/news stories.
Direct training of several 100 school teachers, and extended impact
through educational resources. Influence on policy development through the
PHYESTA astronomers have both led the highly-cited research and have
worked directly with outreach staff, educators, and organisations (e.g.
Royal Society and STFC) to publicise and promote the impact and relevance
of astronomical discoveries.
Our high profile astronomy research discoveries in areas of public
interest have allowed us to substantially increase the engagement of the
public with science. Media appearances have led to a philanthropic
donation of £200k to promote our science, the most successful public event
series ever in Northern Ireland (engaging around 2000 people), a strategic
partnership with Ireland's award winning science education centre W5
(reaching 26,000 people), and a 49% increase in applications to physics
based degrees from NI students to UK HEIs. In 2008 we set three simple
targets to substantially increase the public awareness of science and
physics. The first was to increase our presence in the mass media (print,
radio, TV, internet) to promote scientific research, and we have regularly
reached audiences in excess of 295,000. The second was to increase the
numbers of people attending science talks and events. The third was to
substantially increase the application rate of school students to study
physics and mathematics degrees. Through our outreach and engagement
programme we have met, and surpassed, all of these targets. The impact of
our research and our public outreach programme is a quantifiable societal
change. Substantially more NI school students are now studying physics at
third level UK HEIs.
The university's Bayfordbury Observatory is a working observatory that
engages with the public via six Open Evenings and approximately 50 group
visits a year, offering access to a wide range of facilities. Many of the
4,000 visitors annually report that they develop a first or renewed
`enthusiasm for astronomy', or become `inspired to learn more' about what
they have seen or heard from our researchers; some young people enthuse
about `now wanting to be a scientist'. Science teachers taking an RCUK
`cutting-edge' CPD astrophysics course also say that they have gained an
`increased understanding of the subject', and `increased confidence in its
delivery to pupils'.
Large numbers of the public have been inspired and delighted by Sussex
research on high-profile fundamental physics, through media coverage and
cultural interpretation of this work, but also by participating in the
process and contributing directly to further discoveries. Sussex research
contributions to high-profile fundamental research include the Higgs boson
discovery, which has had a phenomenal impact around the world, and the
ESA's missions, XMM-Newton and Herschel, which appeal to an enduring
curiosity and wonder about the nature of the universe. Our research
underpins the pioneering Galaxy Zoo Project, which has enabled
unprecedented engagement, providing a direct benefit to >200,000
participants who are directly contributing to active research, through one
of the most high-profile examples of `citizen science'. The cultural
landscape has been enriched through, for example, a sell-out West-End
theatre play and a music/art/science collaboration at a regional Arts
Published and grant-awarded research in astrophysics and solar physics at
underpinned a very large number of public lectures throughout the world
(e.g. Edinburgh Science
Festival, Harvard, NASA, IAC Tenerife, Perimeter Institute Canada,
University of Cape Town,
Astrofest London, etc.) during the impact reporting period 2008-2013,
delivered by Professors
Gibson, Kurtz, Ward-Thompson, Walsh and the rest of the staff in UoA9. The
most prestigious of
these have been delivered to large (typically several hundred to a few
thousand people) sell-out
audiences. Our staff have appeared on TV and radio to audiences of
millions. In addition, public
outreach events led by astrophysics and solar physics staff members at
UCLAN have further
increased the societal impact of our research.
The performance of absolute distance measuring systems has been improved
in terms of accuracy, traceability, reliability and cost through the
introduction of new methodology arising from research at the University of
Oxford. This has brought commercial benefit to a German company making
measurement systems, through the creation of a new product line. New
capabilities for measurement have been delivered to a first customer in
Germany. The research has also resulted in the establishment of new
activity at the National Physical Laboratory, and influenced UK and
European technology roadmaps for future manufacturing.
Euclid is a new M-class satellite selected by the European Space Agency
(ESA) to study the dark universe, which will exploit fundamental "Baryon
Acoustic Oscillations" research originally performed at Portsmouth. The
construction of Euclid is underway, overseen by Portsmouth scientists,
with several millions of pounds already spent on research and development
within UK university laboratories and industry (e2v), already with
economic impact. By the time Euclid is launched, 606 million euros will be
spent across UK and European industry (Thales, Astrium) providing
significant economic impact as well as societal impact.
The research in this case study has pioneered knowledge management
technology. It has had major impact on drug discovery and translational
medicine and is widely adopted in the pharmaceutical and healthcare
industries. The impacts are:
KCL research played an essential role in the development of data
provenance standards published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
standards body for web technologies, which is responsible for HTTP, HTML,
etc. The provenance of data concerns records of the processes by which
data was produced, by whom, from what other data, and similar metadata.
The standards directly impact on practitioners and professional
services through adoption by commercial, governmental and other
bodies, such as Oracle, IBM, and Nasa, in handling computational records
of the provenance of data.