Julia Wittmayer, Drift, 03-06-2019

What is the role of citizen science in sustainability transitions? While the field of sustainability transitions research starts to embrace transformative research approaches such as transdisciplinary research, Living Lab approaches or Action Research, it is only just beginning to explore citizen science. ACTION partners Julia Wittmayer and Annelli Janssen from DRIFT hope to wake up the field by sharing their first thoughts of the roles that citizen science could play in sustainability transitions. Surely, the argument that citizen science democratizes knowledge production is not new. However, along with other research approaches that blur the distinction between society and science, also citizen science increasingly gets institutionalized and gains legitimacy. Besides this, citizen science contributes to environmental democracy and literacy: engaging with as well as gathering, developing and sharing knowledge about one’s environment are important steps in taking control over it. This also holds true for the trends towards digitalization in cities contributing to the creation of ‘smart citizens’ – where the potential for democratization includes access to data and means to influence one’s place of residence. One precondition for realizing the democratization potential is the availability of data, which is why ACTION is committed to an open data policy.

Find the full blog post on: https://drift.eur.nl/publications/citizen-science-towards-democratic-science-and-environmental-democracy/