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On growing pains and a growing field

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Image by Don Graham | CC BY-SA 2.0 | Lone Juniper on Flickr

From the Director’s desk (Jennifer Shirk, Interim Executive Director):

When the Internet starts to critique citizen science, we know this field has truly come into its own.

Several provocative articles over the past few weeks have led to intense but thoughtful dialog on the Citizen Science Association’s discussion listserv. What started as an emotional response to a “backlash” against citizen science became a recognition that we (as a field) are secure enough in our practice that we can embrace – and benefit from – criticism.

With that said, there is more we can do to help others better understand citizen science and this field.  Achieving success in citizen science is difficult, and often underappreciated, work – work that requires careful project development to meet a project’s specific goals. This field is still innovating and growing, but there is a rich history and rapidly growing foundation of resources on which we can pursue citizen science with integrity in both research and engagement.

This is why, for #GivingTuesday, CSA is sharing and inviting others to share their favorite resource in support of citizen science practices. Our Board members have kicked off the brainstorm – but we are a community rich with insights and innovations, and your contributions are needed to add to the diversity of perspectives and practices.

As a field, we are changing the way people think about science – and that is bound to raise questions. I am proud to be part of a community that is disruptive, that embraces collaboration, that does not flinch from challenges, and that values both rigorous science and diversity in practices. I’m also proud to be part of growing an organization that stands in support of everyone undertaking the difficult work of citizen science. You can show your support for CSA today – and we will be there for you in the future.

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Posted on: November 28, 2017  |  Category: Blog, Citizen Science Association, News