Scaling up and rolling out through the Web
The “platformization” of citizen science and scientific citizenship
The purpose of this paper is to investigate online public participation and engagement in science through crowdsourcing platforms. In order to fulfil this purpose, this paper will use the crowdsourcing platform Zooniverse as a case study, as it constitutes the most prominent and established citizen science platform today. The point of departure for the analysis is that Zooniverse can be seen as a “platformization” of citizen science and scientific citizenship. The paper suggests that the mobilisation of individuals who participate and engage in science on the Zooniverse platform takes place through an epistemic culture that emphasises both authenticity and prospects of novel discoveries. Yet, in the process of turning “raw” data into useable data, Zooniverse has implemented a framework that structures the crowd, something that limits the sort of participation that is offered on the platform. This limitation means that the platform as a whole hardly be seen as fostering a more radical democratic inclusion, for example in the form of a co-production of scientific knowledge, that dissolves the institutional borders between scientists and non-professional volunteers.
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