So-called citizen science has become a significant force in several scholarly disciplines. The phenomenon can be found in both the natural and the social sciences, according to the largest systematic analysis to date on the topic, the results of which are published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
‘We see that in particular researchers in the natural sciences have collected and classified data with the help of interested volunteers. In the social sciences, there has been a focus on inviting select parts of the public to find out the effects of science on people’s everyday lives. This may for example concern environment problems and risks,’ says Christopher Kullenberg, researcher in the field of theory of science. ‘What’s exciting about citizen science is that it enables non-researchers to make important contributions to science.’ says Kullenberg.