Louise Lief

Researchers collect data to reform policing

Investigative Reporting Workshop


Earlier this fall, I was invited to attend an extraordinary meeting at the White House. “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People” was the coming together of an effort that has been percolating in the federal government for the past couple of years, to engage more citizens in creating and using government data through citizen science and crowdsourcing.

The forum, which drew participants from all over the United States, explored ways to enable ordinary citizens everywhere to collect, analyze and contribute data to government agencies and access it, to help spot problems and devise solutions. More than 40 federal agencies, ranging from NASA to the Bureau of Land Management, now participate in a working group to figure out the nuts and bolts of how such a system would work throughout the U.S. government, and even on a global scale. Representatives from many of these agencies were present at the meeting.

This being the White House, I expected to see the leaders of the country’s major scientific institutions: John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Frances Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation; and former congressman Rush Holt, now president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Read more at Investigate Reporting Workshop.

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Louise Lief is an independent consultant to philanthropy, non-profits and media, helping mission-driven organizations design, execute and communicate program strategies to achieve their objectives with maximum impact.

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