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Citizen scientists: Reconnecting science with civil society

31 Mar 2009
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Citizen Scientists intertwine their work and their citizenship, asking new questions, working with new people and drawing new connections between science and society. They provide alternative ways of seeing the world and engaging with it. They give science its vital diversity.

As global challenges of sustainability, poverty, health and security grow more urgent, science and innovation need to be able to draw on diverse knowledge, diverse practices and diverse people. At the same time, the private motivations for science have grown louder than those that are public, curiosity-driven, value-driven and needs-driven. It is time for scientists to reconnect their work and expertise with a wider role in society, to become Citizen Scientists.

This pamphlet argues that we need to find, learn from and support our Citizen Scientists, presenting five examples from around Europe ? Veronique Chable from France, Angelika Hillbeck from Switzerland, Carolyn Stephens and John Sulston from the UK and Gianni Tamino from Italy. They join a long line of scientists who have, throughout history, helped science build its social conscience. By doing science differently, these scientists and others like them are challenging assumptions about the why, the how and the what of twenty-first century science.

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2009
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