7. Not Just Knowledge: Emerging Environmentalisms in Citizen Science
Dick Kasperowski, University of Gothenburg; Jesse Peterson, Linköping University;
Citizen Science (CS) represents a long practice for enrolling a broad public in producing scientific knowledge about natural environments and the creatures that inhabit them. However, in this contemporary era, CS platforms, data, and protocols represent a promise for more fair epistemologies and for challenging hegemonic structures upholding the status quo. In particular, CS has become part of the global initiative of Open Science and deemed necessary for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals, installing trust in science and policy, and mitigating alternative facts and social polarization. As a result, CS is becoming integral to environmental national and international policies and laws. Simultaneously, communities and groups create or (mis)use already established CS infrastructures, report systems, and protocols to protect biodiversity and ameliorate climate change. Discontent with policymakers' inability to address future environmental threats, these engaged citizens contribute to or create environmental CS projects not only to advance knowledge about biodiversity but to achieve regulatory changes in solidarity with endangered ecologies. CS no longer serves the interests of science but has emerged as a vehicle for operationalizing different environmentalisms, or ways to care for and protect ecosystems. This open panel aims to explore the many facets of environmentalisms occurring within CS around the globe. Specifically, we invite papers that engage how CS communities, data, practices, political ontologies, materialities, geographies, controversies, and representative abilities are working to resolve environmental challenges and disputes.