Today, data sharing in astronomy isn't just among professors. Amateurs are invited into the data sets through friendly Web interfaces, and a schoolteacher in Holland recently made a major discovery, of an unusual gas cloud that might help explain the life cycle of quasars—bright centers of distant galaxies—after spending part of her summer vacation gazing at the objects on her computer screen.
Alexander Szalay's career in astronomy took an unexpected turn when the Johns Hopkins U., where he is a professor, joined the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and he volunteered to help with data storage.
Crowd Science, as it might be called, is taking hold in several other disciplines, such as biology, and is rising rapidly in oceanography and a range of environmental sciences.
Read this comprehensive article to find out why...