Citizen Science: a new knowledge politics?
There has been a remarkable growth in citizen science activities over the last several years. The February 2015 inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association, held in California, brought together over 600 people. There is also a European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) and a large number of national organizations. As the ECSA website proclaims: ‘Our mission is to connect citizens and science through active participation.’ Meanwhile, the Zooniverse website lists a range of ‘people-powered research’ projects across ‘the sciences, humanities, and more’. The citizen science Wikipedia page presents a growing collection of activities on a global basis.
The question I wish to explore in this session concerns how we are to view the phenomenon of Citizen Science. Does it represent no more than an extension of science by other means or might it raise further questions concerning the nature of ’knowledge politics’? If citizen science has now come of age, what does this mean both for citizen science itself and existing knowledge institutions? As I will discuss, the rise of citizen science sheds new light on some deeper issues concerning science-society relations.
Professor Alan Irwin is a Professor in the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School. Between 2007 and 2014, he was Dean of Research at CBS. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Irwin has published on issues of science and technology policy, scientific governance, environmental sociology and science-public relations. His current research focuses on research and innovation policy.
Date: 22 November 2019, 15.15-17.15
Location: UMC Utrecht, Groene zaal (Green lecture hall)