Discover Magazine Launches Citizen Science Salon

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By Karen Fratti Comment

citizenscienceIn a week fraught with rethinking digital and mobile content strategies, Discover magazine took a rather classic route in attempting to expand their reach and engage new audiences. They’ve added two new blogs to their site — But Not Simpler and Inkfish — and launched Citizen Science Salon — which includes real, crowdscourced science projects from SciStarter that correlates with articles in the print and digital version of the monthly magazine.

Associate online editor Lisa Raffensperger told me over the phone that the parntership is a natural one:

SciStarter is its own community, passionate about citizen science, and Discover‘s readers are an entirely different group. There’s not a lot of crossover, but we’re thinking that Discover readers will be interested in Citizen Science Projects as an immediate way to actually do some of the science they’ve been reading about.

Citizen science, and popular science in general,  seems to be trending. Think Radiolab, Fox’s ‘Cosmos’, or even the DIY beauty products plastered all over Pinterest. But is it all verified and peer reviewed? Raffensperger says that while feature articles in the magazine are fact checked, the blogs don’t go through such a process, though they are written by experts or are more reporting on science news. Does it matter? Maybe not if its getting people into new things — or driving traffic.

Raffensperger notes that “Discover has always tried to get people into science…now we’re able to align editorial content with citizen science opportunities much more closely.” She says that there’s been a lot of excitement surrounding the blogs but she’ll be “interested to how engagement with the projects grows.”

It’s sounds simple — find a partner with a trendy mission,  make it interactive, and hope they come back for more, or at least click around to find out why no one can actually come in like a wrecking ball.

What do you think of the content strategy? Or citizen science and the state of science journalism? Let us know @10,000Words.

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