The “democratic turn” of citizen science: A sociology of a participatory science program’s transformations

By Aymeric Luneau, Élise Demeulenaere, Stéphanie Duvail, Frédérique Chlous, Romain Julliard

Our paper deals with the transformations of citizen science since its emergence from Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s projects in 1990. Citizen science is defined as a means to produce scientific knowledge, increase scientific literacy, and democratize the sciences. But the diachronic analysis of social networks and bodies of texts shows that the “democratic” argument has only arisen during the past decade, unlike the other two arguments which appeared from the beginning. This evolution stems from a reframing of the CLO approach according to arguments conceptualized by the british sociologist of sciences Alan Irwin in Citizen Science (1995).

  • Citizen science
  • Research program
  • Democratization
  • Sciences and technologies studies.
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