Dispelling Myths of Citizen Science

Lunch Speaker
Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Cooper
North Carolina State University, Jordan Hall, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695-8008, United States


Contact Information: cbcoope3@ncsu.edu; 919.707.9273


ABSTRACT

There are two interlocking keys needed to solve problems: (i) reliable knowledge of what can be done and (ii) social capital to make it happen. (The social networks, cohesion, and individual investment in community that makes democracy work better are social capital). The scientific enterprise canít efficiently do its part in solving problems while located apart from society. The remedy is to relocate science from its isolation and foster its growth in the mainstream of society as an ongoing collaboration between the public and professionals. How can we do this? Citizen Science has already begun to do it, every day, and we need to expand the process. Citizen science presents an opportunity to develop systems of engagement and participation aimed at collective problem-solving. Given the interdisciplinary complexities of citizen science, we'll review common misconceptions that limit its reputation and acceptance.