I found this very interesting post over at www.scienceprogress.org. Here's an excerpt "The Scientists and Congress should trust the public’s capacity to learn, draw conclusions, and contribute. Invite the public to do more, and put a process in place so citizens and researchers can work together to impart sound policy advice to Congress. In short, they should help bridge the divide." What's interesting here is that there are some examples of this already occurring on the internet, for example Cornell's Ornithology lab has a citizen bird watchers program that helps them to track bird-related disease in North America.