Citizen Science for a knowledge democracy
GALILEI HIGH SCHOOL FOR STEAM
The concept of Citizen Science (CS), also recognized at an academic level, can be defined as «the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by an audience, which takes part in a collaborative project with professional scientists». This definition is accompanied by other aspects, considering CS as a set of scientific research activities or projects conducted, in part or wholly, by amateur or non-professional scientists with the aim of carrying out a systematic collection and analysis of data. Furthermore, it is considered a potential means for the development of technology, verification of natural phenomena and public dissemination of scientific knowledge. All this would lead to the formation of a participatory science, where citizens become an integral part of the scientific process.
Citizen Science is an experimental field that adopts alternative models of democracy and production of public knowledge. The projects introduce new data, information, partnerships with scientific bodies in the area and thus new perspectives, creating previously non-existent domains of knowledge. Citizens therefore create knowledge and knowledge creates citizens. Each project is aimed at motivating and involving, and making participants aware of their contribution even without an adequate, specific, scientific preparation.
Involving younger students as well, making them participate in research and experimentation activities, is a good strategy for bringing the new generations closer to science and forming aware and responsible citizens.
Edition of the Meteorological Days . A group of 30 fourth grade students, after following a training course on meteorology, climatology and climate change under the guidance of Osmer staff, proposed a series of hands-on activities to primary and secondary school students and the two-year Galilei High School, aimed at promoting knowledge of meteorological phenomena and raising awareness of the most urgent environmental issues.