One of my favorite reviews of Citizen Scientists, from librarian and SLJ blogger Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes, contains this line:
“The rear of the book is a backmatter-palooza …” (You can read the full review here.)
Yes! The final ten pages of Citizen Scientists are a backmatter-palooza. That’s partly because I’m a sucker for meaty backmatter; how better to truly ponder a book than to thumb around in the land after THE END, getting a feel for why the author wrote what she wrote … and where she thought you might like to go next? The truth is, though, that this book demanded serious backmatter real estate. If Citizen Scientists worked as I hoped, then readers would finish antsy to launch their careers as citizen scientists. I wanted to point them to a depth and variety of print and web resources that would help them do that.
Alas, backmatter has its downside. Foremost on my mind today: the ephemeral nature of web addresses. After Citizen Scientists went to press, but before copies were even available for purchase, one of my favorite of the backmatter web resources, the website Science for Citizens, changed its name. And its internet handle. Grrr.
We will fix this in subsequent editions of the book, of course. In the meanwhile, know this: Science for Citizens is now SciStarter. It is a great place to search out real science projects in need of real amateur scientists. Into bats? They’ve got you covered. Crazy for mastodons? No problem. Honestly, it’s project-palooza over there. For a little taste, check out SciStarter’s Top 12 Citizen Science Projects of 2012. You’ll see some you’ve heard me talk about before (Great Sunflower Project) and some that I’m only beginning to contemplate (Project Squirrel, anyone?).