ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Democratising Knowledge Production

Philosophy, Practice and Potential of Citizen Science

Following a historical appreciation of the concept of citizen science, the article opens up the traditionally closed silos of science and public policy, further includes recent commentaries on how this approach may benefi t decision-making and what challenges lie ahead in achieving its full transformative potential for making it a complete public enterprise.

Scientific expertise has always been called upon to provide an objective basis to support/justify acti­onable public policies. However, as history points out, the celebrated objectivity of scientific knowledge and the production process thereof by scientific elites and, furthermore, the public policies emanating therefrom, have attracted strong critique from the common public.

While this disenchantment towards scientific expertise is most visibly recor­ded in the domain of climate change, human genome project, application of reproductive technology, storing of wastes of nuclear and toxic nature, the public’s concerns are also beginning to surround the process of scientific conduct in general (Backstrand 2003). Arguably, the growing ascendancy of civic science paradigm in science policy since the late 20th century can therefore be seen as a res­ponse to this diminishing public confidence in science; where the aim of many civic science initiatives was identified to restore the legitimating function of science in many regulatory domains.

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Updated On : 1st May, 2023
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