IGoR's goal is to help everyone, from science enthusiasts and hobbyists to professionals, do scientific research. IGoR provides a platform for people to pool their knowledge, resources, time, and creativity so that everyone can pursue their own scientific curiosity.
How IGoR works:
The site consists of three types of pages. Member-created "project" pages, where ideas, data, models, and questions can be shared and critiqued, form the core of the site. "Article" pages provide advice on general topics, techniques, resources, etc. "Spark" pages provide a streamlined way to share interesting observations. In addition, the site provides a contact list of professional scientists who may be able to provide feedback on users' projects.
IGoR will help:
What problems is IGoR meant to solve?
IGoR is meant to solve two problems. On the one hand, an experienced scientist may have a research question in mind, but might benefit from working with people who have different skill sets or experience. Such skills may include things like machining, or familiarity with local habitats, but there might be people with other skills/knowledge that could help in unexpected ways. For example, physical models can be very helpful in my (Mickey's) field of biomechanics; a sculptor might be better at making those than a biologist such as myself would be. On the other hand, novices might be interested in a scientific topic, but might not know how they personally could do research. IGoR can provide a platform for sharing ideas for specific questions that they could tackle scientifically, and getting feedback on experimental design or analysis. All Wikidot members can start new projects or articles or make comments, but only IGoR members can contribute to existing projects and articles.
How can you use IGoR to build collaborations?
IGoR's approach to solving these twin problems is to provide a way for groups of users to coalesce around a project (or article) on a topic of interest. Users contributing to a page will see each others' work and skills, and can pool their knowledge and resources, while gaining feedback from the larger community. Some users may come and go from a project, but others may provide a persistent core that becomes a deeper collaboration.
Ways to get started include leaving comments on a page to create/join discussions, and find people you might want to interact with further. Creating Project, Article, or Spark pages will let people know about something you're interested in so that users who have overlapping interests can find you.
How to Join:
To discourage trolls, free IGoR membership is required to contribute to existing projects & articles.
To join IGoR just:
- Create a Wikidot account (Wikidot is the wiki-hosting service that IGoR runs on).
- Then click here:
Participating in IGoR will help:
- Non-scientists and students get started in research
- Science teachers bring research to the classroom
- Amateur scientists take their science to a new level.
- Professionally-trained independent scientists fill gaps in their skills and resources.
- Academic scientists connect with the broader community
Who we are:
This site was created by, and is administrated by, Mickey von Dassow, with helpful suggestions and encouragement from Yasmin von Dassow, Dr. Dan Rittschof, and others.
I (Mickey) am a biologist who studies how physics contributes to environmental effects on development. Several things made me want to build this site. One is my conviction that everyone should be able to pursue their own curiosity through science. Another was thinking about what would help me to do my research without institutional support or grant funding.
I received my Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley, where I worked on the role of fluid flow in the self-organization of biological fluid-transport systems, and then did a post-doc at the University of Pittsburgh, studying the role of tissue stiffness/viscoelasticity in the tissue movements that put an animals innards on their insides during embryonic development. Most recently I have been working on effects of salinity variation on the lovely embryos of sand dollars and sea urchins.
Please contact me if you'd like to help bring IGoR to life. I am looking for collaborators to help build IGoR into a successful online community.
Several people advised me on developing IGoR including, but not limited to:
- Yasmin von Dassow is a graduate student in Marine Science at Duke University. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of marine invertebrate reproduction, and she has a special fondness for all gastropods. In addition to working in modern marine habitats, she received an MS in paleontology. She is dedicated to science outreach and education. Prior to coming to Duke, she taught people of all ages at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.
- Richard Morley: I am a Senior Statistics Lecturer at Texas State University and received my Doctorate in Educational Psychology specializing in Culture, Human Development, and Learning with an emphasize on Quantitative Methods. My dissertation focused on the role that neurological connections between the cerebellum and striatum play in unconscious learning and autism spectrum disorder. Since my graduation my research interest has been focused on the impact of meditation on aggression, antisocial behavior, criminality and brain changes associated with violence.
- Dr. Andrew David Thaler is a deep-sea ecologist and conservation geneticist that studies the consequences of human impacts on biodiversity and connectivity in the deep sea. He earned a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University, where his research focused on the environmental impacts of deep-sea mining on hydrothermal vent communities in the western Pacific. He also runs the popular marine science and conservation website Southern Fried Science and has several ongoing outreach projects. He teaches courses on social media for environmental communicators and writing in the online ecosystem. He also writes environmentally-themed science fiction.
- Karen Chan: I am an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I received my PhD in Oceanography from the University of Washington and worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a postdoctoral scholar. I am interested how planktonic organisms interact with their fluid environment. By combining field, lab, and modelling approaches, my research focus on how individual physiology and behavior would affect population dynamics. You can read more about my research at www.chanlab.ust.hk.
- Parks Collins: I am a biology instructor at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, NC. I am passionate about using nature-based research projects as a means to increase scientific knowledge, interest, and enthusiasm among students. Students in my labs work on various ecological projects including, but not limited to, monitoring barred and great horned owls, conducting insect surveys using DNA barcoding, and estimating deer population using camera traps. I have a MS in Biology from The University of Nebraska Kearney, where my research dealt with invertebrate ecology and behavior.
Thanks also to the many other people who have provided suggestions, ideas, and encouragement.