Citizen science – új módszertan?

Most of our scientific knowledge originates from respected representatives of scientific research. We believe them because the scientific community, rigorous scientific education and strict methodology seem to guarantee their reliability. However, a new methodological trend has appeared in natural sciences in recent years referred to as ”Citizen Science”. It signifies scientific research that is altogether or in parts conducted by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as “public participation in scientific research”. The first article evaluating the results of a research conducted with this methodolody appeared in Ethology in September 2015. Dog owners could register to participate in the research on the website “dognition.com”. Half of the dog owners even paid for participating in the tests, so they not only supported the research by collecting data but also with money. In exchange they received an evaluation of the performance of their dogs. If dog owners can do the testing reliably, this opens new perspectives in ethological research. It poses great difficulties for scientists to find 20–30 dogs for laboratory testing, in contrast, participants in citizen science can test hundreds of animals from all over the world. But how reliable are the owners’ results? How will this new method transform ethological research?

Megjelent: Replika 99 (2016-11-01), 87–96. oldal.