Citizen science as a band-aid for an ailing science system?
November 14, 2023
Citizen science is becoming increasingly popular. As the popularity of citizen science increases, so does the number of voices that question citizen science. While representatives of citizen science proclaim the advancement of academic knowledge through the involvement of citizens in research, the strengthening of trust in science among society, or the democratisation of science, critics argue that citizen science is a band-aid for an ailing science system in which a lack of resources is compensated by volunteer work, a development which may jeopardise the freedom of research. Neoliberalisation, platform capitalism, and the cementing of power relations through citizen science are also voiced criticisms. Furthermore, citizen science can contribute to revealing precarious working conditions in academia. On the other hand, there are academic successes that citizen science projects can boast. Additionally, there is significant political backing and funding for citizen science by the European Union. This article examines citizen science in this field of tension and contrasts both perspectives.
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