Editor’s Choice: This is a rather provocative essay whose arguments are completely specious in many instances, and completely wrong in others, but has enough seeds of truth that it is worth pondering and acknowledging, and then considering much-needed rebuttals. –LFF–

Excerpt: The very label ‘citizen science’ (as opposed to, say, ‘amateur’ or ‘extramural’) carries the unsubtle suggestion that science should be a participatory democracy, not an unpalatable, autocratic regime. Proponents claim that it has all manner of salutary side-effects.

Every year young and old alike gather to observe a flurry of activity brought to lighted sheet under a night sky in the dunes. NPS Photo

Source: Mirowski, P., 2017. Is ‘grassroots’ citizen science a front for big business?, 20 November 2017. Available at Aeon: https://aeon.co/essays/is-grassroots-citizen-science-a-front-for-big-business [Last accessed 4 December 2017].