3 thoughts on “UCL Institute of Global Health interview on citizen science

  1. Citizen science is an interesting idea but in most cases I doubt it will be worth the effort to mediate/manage al the participants. And isn’t there a huge risk that mainly citizens with pre-set opinions/interest will participate and thus influence the experiments?


    1. Thanks for the questions. First, the ‘mediation and anagement’ depends on the tasks and the goals, and there are some things (e.g. ecological monitoring) that are almost impossible, or prohibitively expensive, without citizen science.

      As for the risk, I don’t think that there is a huge risk, and there are now a whole host of papers that demonstrate that citizen science produce results that are as accurate as those that are produced by experts (e.g. my paper http://www.envplan.com/abstract.cgi?id=b35097 http://zandvleitrust.org.za/pdf/zvt-zimp%20citizen%20science%20BioScience%202008%20march%202013.pdf etc.).

      Arguably, you can state the same thing about scientists and as http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/ shows, we do have issues within professional science.

      However, instead of assuming that one group has a special ability to carry out experiments correctly, we can say that it is available to anyone who want to do things well.


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