- File Size: 712 KB
- Print Length: 152 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 16, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01H7UJG96
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,252 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Rightful Place of Science: Citizen Science Kindle Edition
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What is "citizen science" and why should we care?
Citizen science can be defined as laypersons (as opposed to technically trained professionals) conducting various parts of a scientific experiment or study, from collecting data to analyzing it to even helping set the agenda for which scientific questions should be investigated.
Prior to the 19th century, most of science ("natural philosophy") was performed by dedicated amateurs; then came the creation of a "science establishment" with laboratories, funding organizations, official degrees and titles, and universities. By the middle of the 20th century, World War II had centralized funding of science and technology projects within the government, with exemplars like the atomic bomb and the space program. The problem with these "Big Science" programs and institutions is that they set up scientists as some sort of secret cabal or even priesthood, where only those who knew the mysteries being allowed to participate. This distance between professional scientists, engineers, and the vast majority of the population has created gaps in understanding, access, and policy engagement, which is problematic given how much of our daily lives is affected by science and technology.
The book itself addresses a variety of topics related to citizen science, including the editor Darlene Cavalier's path to becoming a citizen scientist; the impacts of citizen science on science policy; the educational opportunities in the field; how the field is reported on in the media and how practitioners communicate among themselves; how citizen science can be tied to a social or political movement; how it can be used to engage young people and introduce them to new fields of study; and how it can impact the relationships laypersons have with the scientific community and our government, which funds most of the science in this country.
As one example of the ambition of the authors, consider this ambitious call to arms: "Citizen science is about much more than just the scientific process itself--it's a fundamental reorienting of power relations among citizens, government, and society as a whole." They're looking to change the world for the better.
If that sounds like a lot to cover, it is. What's even more impressive is that the writers/editors address all of these topics within a tidy 133 pages. I read it in the space of a single afternoon. It's worth doing.
For an extended version of this review , visit Heroic Technical Writing dot com.
The field is growing and changing so much. It's hard to stay on top of all the latest research. This book cuts right to the important stuff. My one request: get this capable group back together to write an updated version in two years.