TEDxUCL - Jerome Lewis - Extreme Citizen Science in the Congo Basin
Talk: Extreme Citizen Science in the Congo Basin The talk will describe the unusual collaboration between Pygmy hunter-gatherers and UCL's Departments of Anthropology, Engineering and Computer Science. Though many Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin are unable to read the numbers on banknotes or write their own names they have begun to use handheld computers and hacked smart phones with software that they have developed collaboratively with UCL staff and students in the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group. Participating hunter-gatherers can now geo-tag key resources that they do not want to be damaged by industrialists, monitor logging activities that take place in their forest areas, and identify commercial poaching activities that damage wildlife and their ability to lead a secure hunter-gatherer life. By bringing together these different perspectives, exciting new technologies are emerging that can efficiently communicate across linguistic and cultural barriers to give a voice to normally marginalised people.