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Science by the People

Participation, Power, and the Politics of Environmental Knowledge

Aya H. Kimura (author) Abby Kinchy (author)

ISBN: 9780813595085

Publication Date: Oct 2019

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Analyses the tensions and dilemmas that citizen science projects commonly face. Key lessons are drawn from case studies where citizen scientists have investigated the impact of shale oil and gas, nuclear power, and genetically engineered crops. These studies show that diverse citizen science projects face shared dilemmas.
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Citizen science–research involving nonprofessionals in the research process–has attracted both strong enthusiasts and detractors. Many environmental professionals, activists, and scholars consider citizen science part of their toolkit for addressing environmental challenges. Critics, however, contend that it represents a corporate takeover of scientific priorities. In this timely book, two sociologists move beyond this binary debate by analyzing the tensions and dilemmas that citizen science projects commonly face. Key lessons are drawn from case studies where citizen scientists have investigated the impact of shale oil and gas, nuclear power, and genetically engineered crops. These studies show that diverse citizen science projects face shared dilemmas relating to austerity pressures, presumed boundaries between science and activism, and difficulties moving between scales of environmental problems. By unpacking the politics of citizen science, this book aims to help people negotiate a complex political landscape and choose paths moving toward social change and environmental sustainability.

Reviews

"With cutbacks in government funding for regulatory science and roll-backs on regulations, there is going to be growing pressure for citizens to fill in the void with research and documentation. This book presents a much-needed overview of the dilemmas faced by citizen science groups. With detailed case studies on fracking, genetically modified foods, and nuclear radiation contamination, The Politics of Citizen Science will prove valuable for students, researchers, and citizen scientists."

 "Departing from the usual hype around citizen science, Science by the People takes a hard look at how science works--or doesn't--for citizens trying to improve their environments. Essential reading for scholars and practitioners alike."
Illustrations 11 black & white illustrations
Pages 210
Dimensions 216 x 140
Date Published 30 Oct 2019
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Series Nature, Society, and Culture
Subject/s Public administration   Applied ecology   Environmental science, engineering & technology   Illness & addiction: social aspects   Human geography  
Aya H. Kimura is an associate professor of sociology at University of Hawai`i-Manoa. She is the author of Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima (Duke University Press, 2016).

Abby Kinchy is an associate professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the author of Seeds, Science, and Struggle: The Global Politics of Transgenic Crops (MIT Press, 2012).

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