Science & Dissent – Day 2 – Afternoon session, round table and conclusion

The afternoon and concluding session of the workshop (here are part 1 and part 2)

Making as Dissent: The Performance of Producing Pharmaceuticals in Biohacking (Gabriela A. Sanchez, University of Geneva, Switzerland) looking at laboratory protocol to develop insulin and the researchers want to use a 50 years protocol. The Open Insulin Project at the Counter Culture Lab – Maker, DIY bio, citizen science – inviting people to participate in the creation of technoscience. There are similarities between different groups. Thinking about “Impure Science” by Epstein from 1996, looking at the AIDS campaign – the DIe-in at the FDA. The challenged scientific authority. Th Act-up network worked with the medical establishment. The Open Insulin is different – the do things differently – the biohackers are doing a performance, which is not saying that they will be creating a pharma class drug. They are creating stories and narrative. Looking at how the open insulin work we can see three narratives. Greedy pharmaceuticals is the first narrative and arguing about the costs of insulin and costly monopoly of 3 drug companies and activities that block. The pharma insists that they are doing their best -but there is an increased price of drugs significantly. The second story is about empowering patients – Laufer’s alternative of an epinephrine injector (2016). The media is structuring the story around DIY approach as a way to addressed times of needs, with stories from wartime – perceptions of becoming self-sufficient. The concept of open sourcing diabetes therapy as a way to provide a way to remove the financial incentives. Finally, there is the narrative or alternative science – bring the focus on biohackers as challenging and disruptive to big pharma. The biohackers assume a budget of $16,000 and volunteers effort, the equipment is recycled and second hand, and some other bits that are 3D printed – e.g. the Arduino Open PCT. The people on the projects are presenting their background and degree – many have PhDs. The identity of participants is not mentioned in media. The place of work is the Omni in Oakland that link it to the Occupy Oakland Protest. The stories point that the biohackers engage in the performative role of community scientists, working on a shoestring budget, and they materialise a different vision of making drugs and making the critique of society, capitalism structures, and the pharmaceutical industry practice. Using the narrative of the biotechnology industry that insulin. The different sites of biohacking are having an influenced by the location of the laboratory – in the SF area, another famous lab is more educational and focus on hardware and software. There is an element of promoting biotechnology but it is culture dependent.

The Politics of Data in the Intersection Between Hacker Culture and Citizen Science (Christopher Kullenberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) merging citizen science and hacker culture and where do they link – looking at different projects that are in citizen science since 2014 in Gothenburg – and looking at collecting and using data for a societal change. Building on the paper on Citizen Science as Resistance – when you use citizen science data to promote change. In this paper, he argue that it’s a power form of using data. What is the role of technology in citizen science? from the perspective of dissent – this is coming from the hacker culture, and hacking initiative is seen as dissenting practices, possibly anti-social. The description is not accepted by hackers – it’s constructive, building new knowledge, learning about technology. The meeting between hacker culture and citizen science is linked to different tools – three cases: Luftdaten.info, Public Lab DIY microscope, and Safecast Geiger counter. Approaching the project on the basis of digital traces. The approach to technology looking at the concept that technology is locked from us unless it is breaking down. We have devices that we don’t understand – the hacker culture is an active disassembly of technology to learn about it, not because it is broken but active breaking down. Opportunity to collapse local/global differences and building on Latour (2013:221) “We shall never find the mode of technological existence in the object itself, since it is always necessary to look beside it: first, between the object itself and the enigmatic movement of which it is only the wake; then, within the object itself, between each of the components of which it is only the temporary assemblage”. What is happening beside the gaze at technology. We can ask about resources – who can afford building technologies? What values are embedded – open/proprietary? is the knowledge complex or simple? and the question of truth or data quality – is the instrument accurate enough. Sensors for measurement station for air quality that is doing measurements of PM2.5 and PM10. The concentration of sensors in different parts of the world. The project started in Germany, in Stuttgart. The project was transferred to Sweden (the project webpage is only in German). Possible to compare Sweden and Germany – the data also allow analysis of who adopted the technology: price, knowledge of setting up, etc. Noticing which areas are covered – looks like that data is collected in middle-class areas. It is also possible to look at social media in facebook groups. The analysis shows how knowledge is transfer – it is based on actual experience and tacit knowledge: German organised a local workshop, and the questions online provide further information. Sensors are cheap and provide false results – e.g. when humidity is high. This allow showing the values – environmental value, public health concerns, also open source, open hardware, sharing results. In terms of actors and networks, we can see low barriers to make the city join in and get help in calibration from officials. There is a way to link the Mertonian norms – Communalism vs open hw/sw, Universalism vs open standards, disinterestedness vs cheap not for profit, Organised Skepticism through community peer-review. See dissent as a relational concept, and the scientific method is a powerful intensifier of dissent science it generates positive knowledge – seen as apolitical.

Discussion day 2 – some of the issues that emerged today: studying the way in which groups of people are doing things in transnational ways across boundaries and the city which operates locally, so there can be institutionally mismatched. Another aspect is to think about patients groups and their interests, such a patient owned organisation that lead to pharmaceutical reorganisation and speculate about it. Dissenting scientists many time reabsorbed in the public system or in UN organisation and even had to move countries. In the US attacks on scientists personally are not new, and there is far less purchase by evidence and official data – e.g. noise and air quality data from the city own instruments are being ignored. There are challenges to the norm of science that we’ve seen in Argentina and doing it alone and without a network is a very risky approach. Potential questions: is science a tool that is central to dissent? Can academics challenge citizen science, or is citizen science challenging mainstream science? There are also question about science as data, facts? Those four questions are framing a large research project and under what conditions the questions play out? There are lots of things happening, and try to reduce them to a very narrow range of issues. Many scientists taking scientific techniques and reject other features, such as the role of it in progressing society, etc. There is also aspects of what expertise and counter-expertise we get inside institutions and outside institutions – people from outside science having local knowledge, or people that travel all the way to become scientists, people who developed skills insides and travel outside (biohackers). The “counter” is depending on context: Germany or Bulgaria where it is about challenging the city, whereas in Sweden it is all about working together between the city and the people who build systems – “the same citizen science is counter and non-counter” (or is it not the same?). It is also about thinking about expertise – need to be understood in a specific place and time, and not making them “immutable mobiles”. How to call people? people are presenting themselves in different names – even using different CV depending on context. Need to consider how science communication needs to transform to support those changes. In terms of the role of universities and colleges – there are in the US emerging practices in colleges that are doing things through undergraduate education – small colleges provide a scope for critical research when they are not under pressure of research. There are also anxieties about employment, changes to neoliberal structures in universities in the US, Europe, and India mean that the scope of getting students engage through their science to societal issues is more limited.

Round Table
Shannon Dosemagen | Public Lab, United States – working with Public Lab, started as 8-9 years ago with the BP oil spill and done community organisation and working on different issues – from kayaking to informal science communities. Working with communities in Louisiana with experience of the Bucket Brigade issues with refineries. Using data that was captured from community effort and then thinking what the data will be used for. The BP spills provided an opportunity to mapping reports of the experience from it in the Gulf. Ushahidi wasn’t a good tool – giving information without the ability to respond. Started doing community “satellites” – balloon and kites mapping 2000-300 fit to capture the situation and that is because there was a restriction of flying over the area. Building with it a robust archive of information of community views. Public Lab is about making technology useful: for an actionable purpose, top-down citizen science, and establishing alternatives.

Dinesh Abrol | JNU-STEPS, India – journey as people science movement activists since 1975. State led science is much practised. In parallel to other activities in different countries, with rural science. Kerala model worked on mobilising science teachers and educating and it led to a movement in 10 states after 1984 – Bophal was an important catalyst and creating science activism that is done in people’s language, abuse of science and technology in pesticides and chemical releases. Not only observe and passively react in mainstream science and technologies but also create new institutions and programmes: a new notion of development itself. There was lots of local knowledge and artisan abilities and started on how to upgrade capabilities, especially the lower class. Taking from the freedom movement ideas and engage with it. Principles: science be reflexive, responsible innovation, encourage participation of all stakeholders (also through All India Science Network), balancing and changing power relationships. Then developing and transforming science capacity, and need to understand the decolonisation – and lots of learning since the 1930s. Need to understand and deal with new colonialism through science.

Muki Haklay | University College London, United Kingdom – covered the background participatory mapping and ExCiteS, and the use of values and STS in our work. In particular, the progression from Public Access to Environmental information to PPGIS, then to Citizen Science in environmental justice context, the merging of VGI and understanding of crowdsourcing through engagement with OpenStreetMap, and finally the creation of the ExCiteS group.

C. Shambu Prassad | IRMA, India – started journey in 1984 and influenced by Bophal and went to be a mechanical engineer. Ask question about technology and development and following the People Science Movement. Looked at science and technology paths in India and then moved into learning. Exploration of artisanal techniques of spinning cotton that showed different potentiality of technology and the history of cotton. The history of technology and science can be helped in understanding what we are seeing now, such as the impact of using the America cotton variety in the industrial revolution, which didn’t match the Indian variety. Interest in innovation in the margin, and exploring controversies around issues – we can see dissent and marginality (e.g. soil experts in the green revolution).  Explore how is that starting to change scientific practice. We need to look beyond the citizens and their experiences. Controversies are happing in journal and blocking of publications of a certain type as a way to influence the discourse.

Kelly Moore | Loyola University, United States – trained in looking at social movement and mostly on the structural way. Became interested in political movement that is about knowledge. Some activism aspects in life (bike) and public space movement in NYC, also in Green Mapping project with Wendy Brewer. Involved in a campaign about O’Hare airport and impact and learn about technopolitics and how power get organised and how unions can push it away. Worked on “Know your rights” in videos that are helping people to address issues in surveillance. We haven’t covered enough decolonisation and work for people without power and justice projects, and more scholarship and engagement on understanding on what count as a citizen science. There is lack of engagement with people in the field with scholars in science studies so trying to copy models between places instead of trying to understand local context.

Follow up discussion: Some open issues: to what a city is a great place for mobilisation, and how it addresses global issues. Elements of governance, municipality, NGOs, good public transport, exposure to inequality, public spaces to meet, and social networks. There are examples from Delhi of suburbs that create marginal residency can be very difficult to engage but it is possible to do citizen science. For city and climate change, there are impacts of dredging and worsening impacts of storms. however, the protection is at the city level. Hyperlocal to the regional is critical. Questions about dissent – how to be explicit about the scale in which things are working, and rejecting that the national is always the right level. A city is a geopolitical unit, and the urban might be another way – networks of places that can be linked together. Need to bring in to these issues gender, ethnic – issues of knowledge from the margin (Logan Williams). There are issues of science and what it should be done – e.g. doing a participatory activity to address trauma instead of dealing with infrastructures. There was an example of the hacking air quality sensors that are not represented in marginalised groups, this is something that needs to take ideas of language, funding. The scientists abilities to deal with issues is coming from the political regime, e.g. issues with NGOs funding? Considering the power and considering how to hack the situation and discuss things that they couldn’t discuss without it.

The literature on participatory research, the pedagogy of the oppressedScience & Dissent – Day 2 – Afternoon session, round table and conclusion , participatory mapping are not appearing in the history of science literature.

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Science & Dissent – Day 2 – Morning session

The second day of the workshop (day one here) started with The New Technocracy: Scientific Dissent and New Forms of American Governance (Kelly Moore, Loyola University, United States) what are the political conditions of scientists in the US and what are the reorganisation of epistemology and knowledge. Dissent and political reorganisation are dependent on the forms of science and the role of scientists in a specific political context. STS research focuses on techniques and topics of dissent – what are the ways of protest against nuclear power? What are the forms that health issues are addressed by women? Relationship to governance are under-analysed and lack of larger analysis. The questions: who is available to participate in the project? what are the financial support? where are they coming ideologically, politically, and legally? How do they think about science – e.g. science fundamentalists? What are the forms that science is taking place? Some of it based on “Disrupting Science” book – trying to understand how scientists understand their role in dissent – for example thinking about Cold War Technocracy in the 1950s. In the 80s and 90s, there was weak re-construction of science. The US dependent on civic associationalism, protectionist law for citizens, and rule of law – with roles of universities in the system. But since the 1980s, universities moved back to being fund by tuitions fees in the market and from military or industry, and science deliberation for the citizen is too weak to capture the processes in the US. More importantly, neo-liberalism – no protection of citizens and science is linked to commercialisation. An important framing is “Scientists as entrepreneurs”. 2/3 of R&D is private and create secret knowledge and IPR. Ad hominem attacks replaced engagement with the topic – and this is a risk to scientists. The prestige of science and scientists parallels hostility towards government. Two political shift – dissent is capitalised  – Frank Why Johnny Can’t Dissent – and the rule of law is under threat. Laws that are passed without review and some laws are not enforced. Citizens encounter science and technology in everyday life and US citizens are dependent on science and technology for their survival. A risk society in which people need to seek knowledge for everyday action – what is important is not if it something is true but if it works for you. What does it mean to think science and challenges to power?  Scientists – alliances with scientists work with people? They are ignorant of their own fields, history, and not politically, numerically, and legally available. On the citizens – citizenship varies widely across the globe, and the notion of the citizen is structured around framing them as a soldier and consumer and require to think about citizenship. We have seen scientists marching to defend science – making science political, let’s go back to Golden years sort of thinking Instead of studying science and society, we are looking at researchers – socio-technical organisers – bridge, brokers. Communication and community building – versed in technical, political, social history. We can see it in universities by researchers who work as community labs, civic sectors, they reorganise science. There is also participation by women and problem of calling what people are doing. Maybe call it of new sociotechnical reorganisation that centre the new brokers. Many of the reorganisation was driven by political movement, and maybe not be the popular movement, but they can have an influence on scientists. Science communication is there in the picture as protectors of science and passing information to the public and having issues with accepting new forms of understanding of science. We also nationalist neoliberalism and shrinking relationships with the world, and that is also for scientists – in the 1960s and 1970s there were lessons drawn from Latin America and elsewhere, but this is now disappearing.

Expert Networks and Networks of Expertise: The Epistemic Politics of Argentina’s Pesticide Conflict (Florencia Arancibia, National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Argentina and Scott Frickel, Brown University, United States) in 2009 research shown toxicity of Glyphosate and that there are problems in its regulations in Argentina – this caused shockwave as there is large scale application across the country. This study reached the mass media – Argentina dependent on agro-export, and use GM Soya from the 1990s and there is a long use of Glyphosate for that. The toxicity is evaluated through DL50 methodology which considers the effect of doses that lead to lethal damage and not low and long-term exposure. The study in 2009 was a turning point, and Carrasco (the scientist who carried out the study) was attacked by the state and commercial organisations. He was doing a scientific rebellion by publishing in a newspaper and not in an academic journal, in order to make a point about the lack of public interest in the Argentinian scientific establishment. Looking at expertise from 2001 to 2015, and while at a national level there are no changes in policy, there been impacts in the local level and new identities by scientists (as activists) and the network grown from 12 experts to 58 both in clinical research and scientific research. Also, change in scientific knowledge with increased papers on pesticides effects. It started in concern in Cordoba City about the increase in local illnesses of children – including a health survey that was done by the community and the study was ignored by the government, so they invited biological and other experts and while some regulations were changed. The campaign evolved into a national campaign in the mid-2000s (2004-2009) “Stop the Spraying” branches. In 2009-2011 we see the creation of “Physicians of Sprayed Villages” (called after a book that described case studies and experiences). Clinical physicians and scientists. We see in the mobilisation of expert a role for early career people – PhD and early researchers. Important to understand mobilisation over a long period of time and need to analyse it as such, and we also see the censorship and oppression by the state and the changes in the experts that are participating.

Do We Need a People’s Critique of the Anthropocene? (Frank Uekötter, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom) – how much do we need to care about buzzwords? For 18 years we are talking about the Anthropocene – its aim is to change public opinion about the environment and humans and remained mostly academic (unlike sustainable development in the 1980s and 1990s). There are different debates in geology and related areas – does it matter for our social engagement. Defending the Anthropocene – raise the profile of environmental issues and brought new people to the discussion; served as a bridge between “the Two Cultures” (the Anthropocene working group got people from the humanities); raised big questions. However, the Anthropocene is a status report, not a guide for action; also a question about who is benefiting – in particular the geoengineers capitalised on it; eco-modernist master-planners – which is a good Anthropocene which are excited about technology, developmental fantasies from the 1960s that increased; Expertise in a self-ratification circuit of setting a single vision of Anthropocene. An example, the London Big Smog of 1952 and it was a way to write history – is that a story about smoke and soot or is it about particulate emissions from stoves so not about coal. It’s also about energy story that is linked to fossil fuels and a distraction from climate change. Maybe we look at it as a problem that was solved and a model campaign to solve the issue. Once you realise that there are so many ways to talk about the smog is that there are fewer ways of reading the event, not more as in anything goes. Back to the “one Anthropocene” it is part of the desperation of the climate change community and it is a top-down approach, and also we need to have a place for a meta-discourse. Environmental problems have a strong moral element about the right behaviour so maybe it is an attempt to move from that. The concept also has strange immunity from critique and there isn’t a place for a critical reflection. Conclusion – we need a people critique and we need a meta-discourse. Also, need to consider is this will be used for policy-makers to use the ecomodernist manifesto and should be prepared for that.

Independent? Yes. Expert? Perhaps! Political lessons from NGO activism in the French Nuclear Energy Sector (Sezin Topçu, EHESS, France) we can look at the issue of nuclear activities in France and the need to shift from technical democracy and celebration of it to government of criticism which is about co-opting and silencing debates. Looking at the different instruments of government over 5 decades, including the rise of social science in management of critiques and other tools. Focusing on the participatory aspects of it. Critiques are imbricated and in the nuclear configuration which is technocratic in France, there is a myth that it is always the same concept of nuclear energy. The summary of the development of expertise include the post May 1968 nd pioneer mobilisataion for building counter-expertise which include scientists and also trade unions – counter expertise which formulate the nuclear issue as a social choice, the French anti-nuclear movement was strong from 1975 and it was controlled in strong and soft ways; next the post-Chernobyl when counter-expertise – this created new actions: scientists and citizens working together, and insist on the identity of experts (e.g. not accept “lay experts” as a term), use of Gaiger counters and other instruments. Gradually recognised by institutions. The next configuration – post Rio period – 1995-6 moving from expert activism and having a rise and fall of more invisible dissent, and finally post-Fukushima period and slow renewal of anti-nuclear protest (2013 onward). The first period after the disaster was complete silence but then the development of counter-experts and even the same experts that appeared in the previous periods. In the late 1970s, the mobilisation of scientists was seen as a risk, while post Mitterrand in the 1980s they identified it as a positive aspect that can be used to help accepting state choice and to be independent. In the post-Chernobyl accepting the expertise helped in silencing it. In the third period, the transparency and sharing of information is used to show positive aspects, as well as messages of nuclear energy as green and democratic. Then there are also use of presenting institutions as participative and inclusionary in expertise, and therefore showing that some institutions are open to other voices. For example, the concern about leukemia at Hague region in 1997 – a pluralistic commission in order to study it and they succeeded as a helper for civic society. It is actually a top-down design that only invited NGO experts and not the wider public (e.g. concerned mothers in the region). They put together 500,000 measurements but this type of expertise was not really open in terms of recognising the local knowledge of people in the area. The local and non-institutional experts were supposed to work in their free time and had a disadvantage in comparison to institutional experts. There was lack of epidemiological studies to link cause-effect and from 200 they created a permanent function of monitoring. The precarious functioning of participatory functions, mutated again recently, with the opening of discussion on phasing out nuclear. There were examples of instrumentalisation of the participatory process in order to justify the functions of nuclear energy. Counter-expertise and participatory practices about a resource for collective action, but also for techno-scientific powers and think where they are situated, how sustainable they are, who is mobilising, and what do they serve to can be used for manipulation and move to strategic and dynamic political work by all actors. Expert activism is a strategy.

Activism Mobilising Science: Protest in the Uranium Mines in Niger and Namibia (Marta Conde, Universitat Autoònoma de Barcelona, Spain) studying environmental justice cases and the expertise and forms of co-production. Defining it as a co-production of new and alternative knowledge in terms of the dominant discourses in cases of mining communities. She looked at Uranium mining in Africa – Niger and Namibia. Issues of contaminates water, dust, radon, and health. The activism mobilised locally, with knowledge co-productions – in niger Almoustapha Alhacaen and in Namibia Bertchen Kohrs, they did that by contacting external activities – Bruno Chareyron from CRIIRAD to link to the different cases. The EU EJOLT project provided resources to link resources. Activism was done to protect from impacts – and for example the knowledge about radon. It was also useful for refuting information that is coming from official bodies – for example, that scientific threshold is not protecting workers. They also doing this in order to gain visibility and legitimacy. Further work looked at the perspective of the activists/scientists – e.g. Bruno from CRIIRAD who is a nuclear engineer and worked in different sites and countries of uranium extraction. Another one is Robert Moran who work as expert hydrologist who work as a consultant in many cases that are linked to mining. The identified three types of co-production: knowledge co-production – the expert know what to look for and the instrument but lack local knowledge where to look for, e.g. scrap metal in the market that comes from the mine. The second there is co-production of interpretation – what information is key, what results should be used – e.g. knowing that material from the mine is used for construction. The expert may come only at the interpretation stage – a community got data but need help in understanding it. Finally, a co-production of strategies – Robert Moran carried expertise about what would work, how it should be used. There are different forms of co-production and, these are bottom-up processes control locally and they continue to work with the local support and it won’t lead to productive relationships. There is a process of politicisation of knowledge and scientific expertise. There is an issue that there are a lot of dependence on individuals and their effort and focus.

Selling the City: Activist Professionals and the Transformation of Community Development (Apollonya Porcelli, Aaron Niznik, Scott Frickel | Brown University, United States) the work is ongoing – interested in how social movement mobilise experts, and how experts organise themselves in relation to movements. Based on 2 years of developing a database of experts activists – professional who are engaged in 134 organisations in civil society in the Boston area, people who are expert which mean that they have postgraduate degrees, with details of this 700 people and 51 interviews. In the late 1960s, there was a movement to deal with developments in the Boston area. Boston have a large inequality so despite the work on public claims to the city – people before highways. The role of the experts in grassroots organisation changed over time, an analysis that identifies threats to communities – the 1950s- 60s it was government urban renewal and then 1980s it was market-led redevelopment. In the 50s and 60s, activists became social scientists as a result of their action and it was a way to maintain activist connections. With neo-liberalism, there was a change and that rely on technical expertise in law, planning. In the 1950s-1970s there was government-led renewal and attempt to push out marginalised communities of colour and with the beginning of this effort, the movement of people before highways emerge. Community Development Corporation proliferated – they are community led activities that are focusing on neighbourhood renewals and they were a way to connect communities and government. Grassroots politicised researchers – e.g. MIT urban studies provided a way to learn, maintain links to CDC and continue to use their expertise. Local universities (e.g. MIT) provided mobilising context and Mel King is an example of activists that became state representative and an adjunct professor at MIT. Boston is a concentration of a lot of academic institutions, and programmes such as Community fellows, Urban planning aids, and DUSP in MIT produce 24 MSc and PhD on CDCs in Boston. The defunding of cities housing led to differentiation of the housing sector. The Community Development organisations were forced to move to the private sector, the link to universities – the cultivation of policy administration, funded research centres, and financing housing. Business and law now dominate the scope of experts. Lots of different things happening and different disciplines are involved, different cohorts of activities – social science and social work gave way to law and finance. Seeing generational changes in what community development is about – the technical expertise reduce the social justice mission of underlying political, ideological motivation that use to be there. There is even a view that CDCs are actually now developers. Neoliberalism opened up opportunity to expert activism on environmental health, which used to be the CDC role, and left open.

Alan Irwin talk on Citizen Science and Scientific Citizenship (JRC, October 2015)

The EU Joint Research Centre in Ispra has recently released the recording of a talk by Alan Irwin at the Joint Research Centre as part of the STS “Contro  Corrente” series of seminars from 15 October 2015, with Jerome Ravetz and Silvio Funtowicz (famous for their post-normal science) as discussants. The talk, titled Citizen Science and Scientific Citizenship: same words, different meanings? is using the two keynotes at the Citizen Science Association 2015 conference (by Chris Filardi and Amy Robinson) as a starting point for a discussion about the relationships of citizen science to scientific citizenship.

If you are interested in the wider place of citizen science within the scientific enterprise, this seminar is an opportunity to hear from 3 people who thought about this for a long time (and their work influenced my thinking). It’s very much worth to spend the time to follow the whole discussion).

Two very valuable points from Irwin’s talk are, first, the identification ‘that the defining characteristics of citizen science is its location at the point where public participation and knowledge production – or societal context and epistemology – meet‘.

Secondly, the identification that scientific citizenship is having the following characteristics – focus on sociotechnical futures with specifically asking question about the relationship between knowledge and democracy; which highlights the political economy of knowledge and the changing nature of citizenship as practised engagement.

Also valuable is the linkage of knowledge, power, and justice and how these play out in citizen science in its different forms.

I’ll admit that I was especially interested in the way that my model of participation in citizen science was used in this seminar. However, having a blog is also an opportunity to respond to some of the points that were discussed in the seminar!

First, Alan Irwin note that scientific citizenship does not happen at the top level of participation but throughout the levels. This is something that I’m emphasising in every talk in which I use this model. As Silvio Funtowicz correctly identified, the model is (yet another) borrowing from Sherry Arnstein ladder of participation as I clearly indicated. However, it is wrong to put the value judgement that is at the centre of Arnstein analysis of participation into citizen science – there might be just as much engagement in volunteer computing as in ‘extreme’ citizen science.

Second, Funtowicz commented that the equivalent of ‘extreme citizen science’ in Arnstein ladder does not reach very high level of participation. I disagree. Arnstein top level is ‘Citizen Control, have-not citizens obtain the majority of decision-making seats, or full managerial power’. If in citizen science project we shift into more equal mode of knowledge production where the project is shaped by all participants, especially marginalised ones, and the scientists working as facilitators in service of the community, aren’t we at the same place?