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Joining Reference and Representation —Citizen Science as Resistance Practice

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Dick Kasperowski
Niclas Hagen
Christopher Kullenberg
Antonia Walford
Kevin Matthew Smith
Max Liborion
Ned Prutzer
Sarah T. Hamid
Publicerad i Society for Social Studies of Science 2015 Annual Meeting November 11-14 Denver, Colorado
Sidor 14
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Institutionen för filosofi, lingvistik och vetenskapsteori
Sidor 14
Språk en
Ämnesord citizen science
Ämneskategorier Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi), Socialantropologi, Annan humaniora


During the past two decades there has been an increased interest in citizen science. Citizens contribute to science in observing, classifying and collecting data. Several large­scale scientific projects have successfully enrolled citizens in the research process (see, galaxyzoo.org; ebird.org). But, citizens are also regarded as deliberative stakeholders in the space between science and society. By participating in the democratic process, this version of a citizen scientist is able to speak for the local community, which is affected by the scientific society. These two types of citizen science seem to be incommensurable. Observing, classifying and collecting scientific facts is usually regarded as a domain that needs to be isolated from any other in society. When science is influenced by politics it looses its objectivity. Similarly, deliberative politics is often thought of as the complete opposite of scientific reasoning. However, there is a third type of citizen science that manages to both become producers of scientific facts and of deliberative politics. Such citizen science projects can, in some cases, be seen as challenging science and producing modified forms of science. Two such examples are the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (labucketbrigade.org), and International Rivers (internationalrivers.org). The purpose of this open panel is to bring forward further examples, both current and historical. What are the consequences of using standardized scientific methods to pursue political goals? Does it imply the end of politics or the end of science? Or is it a form of engagement that contributes to informed politics and more (locally) relevant science? Using the notion of a “crossing” between a political mode of existence, which constantly seeks representation, and a scientific mode of existence that struggles to create reference to the world, this open panel elaborates on how this crossing is traversed, negotiated, denied and defended in citizen science as resistance.

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