Room 1028 A&B, Old Main Building. Law Faculty
A critical review of Citizen Science research in South Africa
To help citizens make informed decisions about science, technology and the environment, efforts have been made to promote informal science education and communication. One such effort of public engagement in science comes in the form of citizen science (CS) projects and programmes, first coined by A. Irwin in 1994. CS can be broadly defined as activities and/or programmes where members of the lay public, citizen scientists, who may not have any formal training as scientists, participate and collaborate with scientists on scientific research, by means of data collection, sharing and analysis.
CS projects are becoming increasingly popular, and are seen by many scientists as a way of inclusive science engagement, but still raising questions on how to successfully involve the public in scientific research, while achieving science and environmental literacy. In terms of science communication, CS goes beyond the one way deficit model to promoting dialogue, by giving the public a stake in processes such as monitoring environmental processes. It claims to give the lay public the opportunity to learn more about scientific concepts, theories, methods and values, even stating that it can increase scientific literacy. Subsequently, there has been a rise in scholarly papers focusing on CS elements of public engagement and contribution to the scientific process.
The research presented at this talk aims to shed some light on the current state of CS projects and publications in South Africa. The research looks into the reality of what CS promise: public engagement with the scientific process and increasing support for science.
Dr Corlia Meyer is a post-doctoral research fellow, for the South African Chair in Science Communication, at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST). Her research focuses on environmental communication and engagement.
RSVP: Whitney Prins- firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 September 2019
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