We caught up with Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase about the power of citizen science and its broader role in society.
Grace Wolf-Chase holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona. She was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Ames Research Center (1994-1996) and a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at U.C. Riverside (1996-1998). Wolf-Chase has been an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium since 1998, where her primary focus is integrating research with public education and outreach. She and her colleagues are using data acquired through the Milky Way Project, one of more than 200 research initiatives that have been launched on Zooniverse, the world’s largest and most popular online platform for citizen science, to investigate the conditions that lead to the formation of different types of stars. Zooniverse engages nearly two million people around the world, and has produced over 200 research publications in top journals in the sciences and humanities.
Wolf-Chase has decades of experience in academic dialog between science and religion, and in communicating these efforts to public audiences. She is an Affiliated Faculty member of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS); Vice President of the Center for Advanced Studies in Religion and Science, an independent organization of scientists and theologians that supports the ZCRS and co-publishes Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science; science advisor for the Clergy Letter Project, an initiative to demonstrate clergy support for science and the compatibility of science and religion; and an advisor for the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Science for Seminaries program. In 2019, the Adler Planetarium, under Wolf-Chase’s leadership, was awarded a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to engage faith-based and interfaith communities in research experiences via Zooniverse.