Category Archives: Q&A

HealthMap Co-Founder Dr. John Brownstein on the Value of Crowdsourced Forecasting in Public Health

John Brownstein, Ph.DWe recently spoke with John Brownstein, Ph.D., co-creator of HealthMap (www.healthmap.org), a global leader in utilizing online informal sources for disease outbreak monitoring and real-time surveillance of emerging public health threats. SciCast partnered with Healthmap and the Discovery Analytics Center at Virginia Tech on a series of questions about the 2014-2105 flu season in the United States. Predict now: https://scicast.org/flu.

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SciCast Accuracy Calculations

We have started adding “Accuracy” numbers to emails. For example:

  • Your average accuracy on this question was 83.
  • SciCast’s average accuracy on this question was 90.

What does that mean?  The short answer is that it’s a transform of the familiar Brier score, which we have mentioned in several blog posts.  Where the Brier measures your error (low is good), Accuracy measures your success (high is good). This is more intuitive … except when it’s not.

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Q&A with SciCaster Julie J.C.H. Ryan

SciCasters represent a variety of communities – academics, professionals, enthusiasts, even students. Find out how one professor built SciCast into her curriculum – and led students by example.

Julie JCH Ryan

Meet SciCaster Julie J.C.H. Ryan, Associate Professor, Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, George Washington University.

Q: Why SciCast in the classroom?

I was intrigued by the potential and explored several alternatives with the George Mason folks.  I decided to use SciCast as a practical learning exercise for a tech forecasting course that I was teaching in the spring.  I provide opportunities for students to learn through guided experiences.  I integrate a lot of exercises in my classes so that students are engaged in active learning through incremental explorations of the material.

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Join SciCast for a Reddit Science AMA and an ACS webinar this week!

Have you ever wondered what will be the next ‘big thing’ in technology?  What if you could garner collective wisdom from your peers – those who are interested in the same topics as you – with global reach?

Don’t miss two unique opportunities to learn more about how you can do this on SciCast (www.scicast.org), the largest known science and technology-focused crowdsourced forecasting site.

SciCast will be the featured topic in a Reddit Science AMA and an American Chemistry Society webinar this week!  Don’t miss these opportunities to share your SciCast expertise and weigh in on the discussion. We also encourage you to share the information with your friends and colleagues.

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Q & A with AAAS policy fellow Claire Standley

The following Q & A is excerpted from SciCast Partner AAAS MemberCentral. You may read the full blog post here.

Standley_Claire photoWe were interested to find out why AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow Claire Standley accepted the position as SciCast topic leader for biology and medicine. Originally from Oakland, Calif., Standley earned her Ph.D. in biomedical parasitology and genetics from the National History Museum and The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

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Who’s predicting the next big thing?

SciCast is comprised of more than 7,000 science and technology experts and enthusiasts from universities, the private sector and professional organizations such as AAAS, IEEE, and ACS.  The SciCast team thought it would be fun to find out more about what motivates SciCasters to predict the next big thing. 

Meet SciCaster Ted Sanders, 26, who resides in Stanford, CA and is pursuing his PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University.

tedshot Q: How did you get involved as a SciCast participant?

I learned about SciCast when it evolved out of the DAGGRE project, which I had joined from reading Robin Hanson’s blog. However, I was not active on SciCast until recently, when SciCast announced gift card prizes and the College Bowl competition. My participation also stems from a desire to support the legalization of prediction markets in the United States.

Q: What do you find most interesting about SciCast?

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