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Citizen Scientists

Citizen Scientists—individuals in the general public attentive to science-based investigation and communication—engage in studies that can supplement efforts by credentialed scientists.

The U.S. Forest Service has characterized citizen science as:

". . . the collection of scientific data by individuals who are not professional scientists. They are prepared for their work as citizen scientists by professional biologists from the land management agency. These projects are on-going and consist of a network of volunteers. Citizen Science networks are very important. The citizen science monitoring programs would not be the success it is without the participation of citizen scientists."

Many citizen scientists are involved in monitoring (in particular, environmental monitoring). Another important component of monitoring science involves biological monitoring or biomonitoring. Biomonitoring is done for humans as well as for wildlife (plant and animal).

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Recently Updated
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Citizen Participation to Inform Decision-Making on Science and Technology Last Updated on 2010-04-26 00:00:00 Reinventing Technology Assessment for the 21st Century  New Report Calls for Citizen Participation to Inform Decision-Making on Science and Technology WASHINGTON—A new report from the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars defines the criteria for a new technology assessment function in the United States. The report, Reinventing Technology Assessment: A 21st Century Model, emphasizes the need to incorporate citizen-participation methods to complement expert analysis. Government policymakers, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and citizens need such analysis to capably navigate the technology-intensive world in which we now live. The U.S. Congress set a global precedent in 1972 when it created an Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), but then reversed course in 1995 by shutting down the OTA. In the meantime, 18... More »
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