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Earthwatch paper proposes a new definition for citizen science to increase understanding and comprehensiveness

A new paper, lead-authored by Earthwatch Europe’s Innovation Lead Luigi Ceccaroni, outlines a way of reframing citizen science to increase understanding of the concept and encourage its wider adoption.

Published as the first chapter in the Civic Engagement and Politics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications anthology, the paper introduces the term ‘civic educators’ to capture all people, including scientists, who believe that providing information to others, or creating opportunities for others to learn, are paths to greater civic competence and a better future. They could be considered as the active minority in society who often spearhead movements for social change.

As an augmentation of previous definitions, the authors suggest we describe citizen science as: “work undertaken by civic educators together with citizen communities to advance science, foster a broad scientific mentality, or encourage democratic engagement, which allows society to deal rationally with complex modern problems”.

This definition provides context for the other 71 chapters in the anthology, which explores civic-engagement practices in social, political, and non-political contexts. 

Civic Engagement and Politics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications is published in three volumes by IGI Global. The paper is not open-access, but a request for a pre-print can be made to any of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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