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The Sciences

Now is your chance! Inform NASA’s Asteroid Initiative.

Citizen Science SalonBy Darlene CavalierFebruary 18, 2015 9:33 PM

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Go to ecastonline.consider.it to get started! In November, several hundred people in Phoenix, Boston, and online came together to learn about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative and to consider and discuss different approaches to dealing with the opportunities and threats posed by asteroids.

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Click on image to watch video. The next phase of Informing NASA’s Asteroid Initiative is an open invite to participate and weigh in on the questions considered by the in-person and online forums. This phase is open now, and anyone can participate. Visit ecastonline.consider.it to get started. Why participate? “Public engagement is crucial to the effective development of science and technology policy,” said David Guston, Co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (CSPO), one of the founding members of ECAST. “It is essential to consider input from diverse constituents, and nowhere are citizens’ values, hopes and dreams more important than in the future of the planet and the future of humans in space.” About ECAST ECAST is a network of different institutions, launched in 2010 to provide a 21st Century model for technology assessment. It combines the research strengths of universities like Arizona State University with the skills of nonpartisan policy research organizations and the education and outreach capabilities of science museums and citizen science programs. Three of the five ECAST founding partners, the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) at ASU, the Museum of Science, Boston and SciStarter are working with NASA to design, convene and evaluate two forums of about 100 demographically diverse participants each in Phoenix and Boston, as well as an online forum open to all. The report and assessments from the forums will provide input to guide the initiative’s direction and related public engagement activities.

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Editor's note: the author is a co-founder of ECAST, Professor of Practice at ASU, and founder of SciStarter (so this project really matters to her!)

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