Citizen Science and Scientific Citizenship: same words, different meanings?

Talk by Alan Irwin at the Joint Research Centre (15 October 2015)

This talk sets out to explore the relationship between the still developing phenomenon of citizen science and what I will refer to as ‘scientific citizenship’. Are they essentially synonyms or do they point in different directions? Since both terms are very broad in scope, it may be that no definitive answer is possible (unless that answer is ‘it all depends’). Nevertheless, I believe the question is important, not least in throwing some critical light both on the citizen science movement(s) and on the possibilities for the democratic governance of science and technology.

With discussants: Silvio Funtowicz (University of Bergen, NO) and Jerome Ravetz (Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford, UK).


Alan Irwin

About the Speaker:

Alan Irwin is a Professor in the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). His PhD is from the University of Manchester and he has held previous appointments at Liverpool, Manchester and at Brunel University. Currently, he is a member of the Strategy Advisory Board for the UK Global Food Security Programme. Alan Irwin has published over a number of years on issues of science and technology policy, scientific governance, environmental sociology and science-public relations. His books include: Risk and the Control of Technology (1985), Citizen Science (1995), Sociology and the Environment (2001) and (with Mike Michael) Science, Social Theory and Public Knowledge (2003). He was co-editor (with Brian Wynne) of Misunderstanding Science? (1996). He was part of the group which received the John Ziman prize in 2014 for the ESF report Science in Society: caring for our futures in turbulent times (chaired by Ulrike Felt).


Contro Corrente is a series of seminars with renowned scholars and practitioners of science and technology studies, aiming at raising awareness of science and technology studies and how these types of reflexive activities can help with scientific practice at the Joint Research Centre.

For more information, please visit: http://sts.jrc.ec.europa.eu

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