Evolving Ethics within Citizen Science As citizen science continues to grow and evolve, questions posed by researchers across many areas of study have emerged alongside this dynamic, new field.
Here at UC Davis, explorations in community and citizen science are taking place among several groups on campus. Most recently, the Department of Science & Technology Studies hosted Professor Shun-Ling Chen from Academia Sinica in Taiwan, who gave a lecture on her work investigating questions of ethics and fairness for those who participate in crowdsourced citizen science projects.
Chen explored matters of science philosophy and the issue of research accountability in her talk, casting a cautionary lens on certain crowdsourced projects through her novel perspective. A UC Davis Institute for Social Sciences blog entry by Psychology Ph.D. Candidate, Andrew McCullough highlights key ways Chen posed these complicated questions to an interdisciplinary group of UC Davis scholars and graduate students, many of whom knew very little about citizen science before the lecture.
The ethics of citizen science are important to consider as interest in crowdsourced projects continues to grow–so that we may better understand and advocate for effective and equitable participation for all who contribute their talents and time to scientific research in various ways.