Northern Voice 2012

Personal Blogging and Social Media Conference
June 15th and 16th, 2012 in Vancouver, BC

Lessons Learnt in the Fine but Unpredictable Art of Crowdsourcing

David Ng’s lab is an educational facility with a keen interest in looking at unconventional ways of "talking science." Not necessarily in terms of technical concepts (although he does that too), but more from a cultural angle.

As such, he believes that the opportunity to provide windows into science culture, particularly its place alongside other perspectives, is key to addressing the challenge of poor scientific literacy.  Furthermore, it seems the web, with its ability to crowd source talent, whether that is to simply “participate” or to fully engage in open source and open access ideals, is an ideal setting to explore all of these different perspectives.

In his talk, David will discuss his experiences on crowdsourcing, including his attempts at hosting puzzles, determining the “truth,” ranking Candy, and his more recent grand crowdsourcing experiment, The Phylomon Project (  From this, he will attempt to provide some advice on such ventures.


David Ng is a geneticist, science literacy academic, writer, and faculty based at the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia. You can find out more about his dabblings at and you can follow him on twitter @ng_dave
Of note: (1) he is partly responsible for the massive DNA helix emblazoned on his building’s facade; (2) his Dad beat up Bruce Lee; (3) his first foray into general publishing featured a unicorn on the front cover; and (4) his wife and kids are all exemplary.
He has also set up as his personal blog: this is where he categorizes funny, curious, pretty things that work well as a break or transition in that science talk you’re about to give. 

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Northern Voice 2012 is a wrap! Thanks for coming out, everyone, it was a great two days.