What is 'extreme' citizen science?
Citizen Science is hardly a new concept, but during
the last decade it has seen a rise in both academic and popular interest for
the topic. This trend is in part driven by an increased
interest for open paradigms, as well as, Information Communication
Technology (ICT) innovations such as smartphones, mobile Internet and cloud
computing. This has given rise to the emergence of a growing and highly diverse
crop of new – and often innovative – initiatives that are being, or could be,
labelled as Citizen Science1.
Whilst there are often big differences between projects, for instance when it comes to power relations – “Who is working for who?” – or the determination of goals and outcomes – “Who is solving whose problems?” – there is hope that, at the very least, this rediscovery of citizen science might lead to a renewed mutual interest, and perhaps understanding, between scientists and the general public.
Most citizen science initiatives are set in affluent
areas of the world, and by and large they target an educated, or at least
literate, public. Extreme Citizen
Science aspires to extend the reach and potential of citizen science
beyond this restricted context.
We collectively define 'Extreme Citizen Science' as:
Extreme Citizen Science is a situated, bottom-up practice that takes into account local needs, practices and culture and works with broad networks of people to design and build new devices and knowledge creation processes that can transform the world.
1Related terms include: Community Science, Citizen Cyber Science, Community Sensing, Participatory Mapping, Participatory (Mobile) Sensing and so on.