What is citizen science?
Citizen science is a recent label for a phenomenon that has been going on for over 200 years. Volunteers have been contributing to science by developing research projects, providing observations from remote areas, analyzing data, and even publishing results in academic journals throughout the history of science. The improvements in communication, especially the internet, and technology, such as GPS devices on your phone, have made it much easier for anyone who is interested to contribute to the development of scientific knowledge. This activity is what has collectively been called citizen science in the last 20 years.
I’m interested in a number of questions related to citizen science.
- What are the different labels for citizen science?
- How do these labels impact the communication of science to the public?
- Does citizen science change the relationship between experts and non-experts?
- How is citizen science portrayed in the media?