Edwards R (2014) Citizen science and lifelong learning. Studies in the Education of Adults, 46 (2), pp. 132-144. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/niace/stea/2014/00000046/00000002/art00002
Citizen science projects have grown in number, scale and scope in recent years. Such projects engage members of the public in working with professional scientists in a diverse range of practices. Yet there has been little educational exploration of such projects to date. In particular, there has been limited exploration of the educational backgrounds of adult contributors to citizen science, or of how they have gained knowledge of the area or continue to update it. Drawing upon survey data of volunteering more broadly and citizen science in particular, this article seeks to identify gaps in the existing research and possibilities for educational researchers. In addition, it also explores certain conceptual issues. Contributors to citizen science are mostly referred to as volunteers, but they are also characterised as citizens and as amateurs. The article will explore the nature and significance of these different characterisations and also suggest possibilities for further research.
Volunteer; citizen; citizen science; amateur; lifelong learning; motivation
Studies in the Education of Adults: Volume 46, Issue 2