Citizen science: new epistemological perspectives on scientific objectivity
The issue of the nature and sources of scientific objectivity largely exceeds the academic sphere. Indeed, objectivity is considered as the very basis of the authority of science in our societies. As numerous political decisions make use of scientific expertise, questions concerning the very nature and limits of scientific objectivity are becoming central to public debate. In parallel, contemporary philosophy of science is currently trying to develop other conceptions of objectivity, which is no longer considered as a ”view-of-nowhere”, but as the result of a dialogue between diverse scientific perspectives. This plurality is thus not seen as a threat. On the contrary, allowing the existence of a variety of standpoints is the condition of a well-founded objectivity.
This epistemological position strongly echoes the contemporary calls for a larger implication of citizens in the very process of knowledge production. The issue of ”citizen science” is a striking manifestation of this movement. The question arises of knowing whether such a tendency is susceptible, in certain domains and in certain conditions, of improving the objectivity of the research process ? More precisely, what form the implication of citizens should take in order to optimize the epistemological conditions of scientific objectivity ?
The PartiSciP project, which follows the Democrasci project (https://www.democrasci.com/), then aims to interrogate this participatory trend in an epistemological perspective.
Coordinator of the project, Professor of Philosophy of Science
Stéphanie holds a PhD in astrophysics (Paris VI University) and a PhD in philosophy (Columbia University). Her research topics include the unity/plurality of science debate, the metaphysics of science, models and simulations, and values in science. She has recently published Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered (Pittsburg University Press). For more information visit her personal website:
Baptiste holds a PhD in biology (Université Grenoble Alpes) and a PhD in philosophy (Université Grenoble Alpes/Université du Québec à Montréal). His work deals with science politics, social epistemology, philosophy of biology.