The last years, citizen science, or crowd science, has increased tremendously, both in number
of projects, and number of participants. Most literature on crowd science focuses on its
advantages, for both scientists, and the participating citizens. The challenges of crowd
science come mainly from limited organizational capacity of some of these projects. As a
result of this line of reasoning, the main issue becomes, how we can facilitate citizen science,
and help it expand to more projects, and involve more (types of) participants. My aim in this
discussion note is to make two points: first, that, most recent work on citizen science fails to
elaborate on the new types of relationships, practices and interactions that are facilitated by
information and communication technologies, when compared to traditional volunteer
science. The second point is that there are pronounced disciplinary differences among citizen
science projects, something that, again, is generally being missed in much recent work.
Missing these points can lead us to imagine that it’s only a matter of time (and of course
funding) before all sciences catch up with citizen science. Such a line of thought can result in
investing resources (money, time, effort) in projects and infrastructures that are doomed to
fail, because of their topic. I conclude by offering some thoughts on a research agenda.
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