Darlene Cavalier

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Citizen Scientist

Darlene Cavalier is the founder of SciStarter, an online citizen science community. The site is a one-stop-shop for citizen scientists and a shared space where researchers recruit participants. She is also the founder of ScienceCheerleader.com, a site that creates mechanisms for public engagement in scientific research and policy discussions but is far better known for giving rise to the Science Cheerleaders, comprised of more than 250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers. Cavalier herself was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers. These so-called Science Cheerleaders playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire young women to consider science careers, and involve people from all walks of life in citizen science. Cavalier is also the director of special projects at Discover magazine.

Cavalier collaborated with the NSF, NBC Sports, and the NFL to produce the Emmy award-winning Science of NFL Football series. Cavalier is also a founding partner of ECAST (Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology) a network of universities, science centers, and policy think tanks working on participatory technology assessment methods to better inform federal and state science policy making.