Since the late twentieth century, “citizen science” has become an increasingly fashionable label for a growing number of participatory research activities.
This paper situates the origins and rise of the term “citizen science” and contextualises “citizen science” within the broader history of public participation in science. It analyses critically the current promises — democratisation, education, discoveries — emerging within the “citizen science” discourse and offers a new framework to better understand the diversity of epistemic practices involved in these participatory projects.
Finally, it maps a number of historical, political, and social questions for future research in the critical studies of “citizen science”.
public engagementmutual learningcitizen scienceco-creationinclusionscientific impactinterdisciplinaritysocial valuemotivation for engagementmethodologyresults sharingunpredictable group dynamicsemotional aspects