I would like to make a "scientific discovery", or otherwise contribute something (however useful, or not) to the body of human knowledge. What are some unanswered questions, or unexplained details of the world, or (most especially) developing fields of inquirey, that an amateur might seek to investigate with possibility of making progress into the unexplored?
I feel like I do too much backyard science that has all been done before, or tech industry software stuff that, while cutting edge, and thus technically contributing to human knowledge, is a kind of technology-driven innovation that previosuly just lacked a means rather than being non-obvious.
It is pretty clear that there are plenty of unanswered questions if you know your field or know where to look, and plenty of examples of people answering them
in ingenious ways that are not beyond the reach of the amateur.
I'm looking for something to investigate that interests me, but there will be things that I don't know about that interest me, hence I'm throwing the question right open. I'm hoping for suggestions in myriad areas, perhaps specific unknowns, a scattergun that will hopefully bring to light something I didn't previously know I was interested in.
Not counting standard consumer stuff like computers, cameras, regular tools, etc, I'd prefer fields that don't require specialised apparatus in excess of $1000 just to get started, but that $1000 is ebay/used/surplus prices, not retail ;)
(If necessary, I am willing to design/build my own instruments/equipment (and am probably more capable of doing so than many professional scientists, though I certainly have my limits), might there might be lower-hanging fruit in areas for which there isn't off-the-shelf equipment?
I've been to Science projects
. The Society for Amateur Scientists
didn't seem to have much to address this aspect. Any other links? I guess what I'm looking for is some vague way to improve my mental map of the edges of knowledge - so that I can better recognize the unknown when I see it. Or know where it is and go straight to it.
I'm not looking to make some epic discovery. Just work out or confirm some obscure thing that previously wasn't known :)