The first round of questions has been selected for the new accuracy contest. Forecasts on these questions from November 7, 2014, through December 6, 2014, have their market scores calculated and added to a person’s “portfolio.” The best portfolios at a time shortly after March 7, 2015, will win big prizes.
SciCast has been featured in a Wall Street Journal article about crowdsourced forecasting in the U.S. intelligence community. We’re excited to share that SciCast now has nearly 10,000 participants, a 50% increase in the last two months – an important achievement for a crowdsourced prediction site.
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.
SciCast is running a new special! For four weeks, you can win prizes on some days of the week:
- On Tuesdays, win a $25 Amazon gift card with activity.
- On Wednesdays, win an activity badge for your profile.
- On Thursdays, win a $25 Amazon gift card with accurate forecasting.
- On Fridays, win an accuracy badge for your profile.
On each activity prize day, up to 80 valid forecasts and comments made that day will be randomly selected to win. On each accuracy prize day, your chance of winning any of 80 prizes is proportional to your forecasting accuracy.*
Be sure to use SciCast from July 22 to August 15!
*limit of $575 in winnings per person
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.
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?
Lynda Baldwin – 708-703-8804;
Candice Warltier – 312-587-3105;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SciCast Calls for Science, Technology Experts to Make Predictions
Largest sci-tech crowdsourcing forecast site in search of professionals and enthusiasts to predict future events
FAIRFAX, Va (June 19, 2014) – SciCast, a research project run by George Mason University, is the largest known science and technology-focused crowdsourced forecasting site. So what makes a crowdsourced prediction market more powerful? An even bigger crowd. SciCast is launching its first worldwide call for participants to join the existing 2,300 professionals and enthusiasts ranging from engineers to chemists, from agriculturists to IT specialists.
Congratulations, winners! The following SciCast forecasters won Fortune Friday Amazon gift cards! Learn more.
Winners, please let us know your Twitter handle if you have one, and we’ll tweet to you directly when you win. Be sure to share your news with friends!
As the number of open questions on SciCast increases, some users are finding their points stretched too thin. We want our users to make forecasts when they have the interest and knowledge. To make this possible, we’re giving every registered user an extra 4000 points, and starting out all new users with 5000 points.
This change will not immediately affect any person’s rank on the leaderboard, though it might offer new opportunities to move up or down in the rankings. If you have run out of points or are extremely short on points, you now have the assets you need to make more forecasts. Please use these new assets and opportunities wisely. The overall accuracy of SciCast’s market forecasts is improving, and we all want to see a steady continuation of that trend.
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By March 31, SciCast had 5425 forecasts, 1375 users, and 444 questions.
The graph below (click to enlarge) shows some user activity statistics through the end of March. Registrations have leveled off, but the number of daily forecasts per active user is rising. Since January, the average number of forecasts per day among people who make comments and forecasts on SciCast questions has roughly doubled (from 2.5 to 5).
The number of registered users has increased over the same time frame, but most registration occurred early in the year. We had about 800 new users in January but only about 200 new users in both February and March. April will see some new outreach campaigns and incentives.
Please help the SciCast team by encouraging other people to join in our forecasting challenge. Our crowdsourcing approach to predicting science and technology benefits from having a crowd to forecast on every question.
The more competitive users might like to take advantage of the daily and weekly cycles in forecasting. Timings show we still have a strong U.S. bias: few forecasts occur during our night, but mornings also have fewer forecasts than afternoons and evenings. There are roughly half as many forecasts each hour from 07:00 to 11:00 as there are each hour from 11:00 to 19:00. (All times U.S. Eastern, GMT-5/4).
Weekends also have slightly fewer forecasts. There are four forecasts per day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for every five forecasts per day on Tuesday through Friday.
by Ken Olson
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