The Power of Citizen Science in Education

Short thesis

Rapidly advancing scientific research is among the main transforming actors of our societies today. Citizen Science can promote public awareness, encourage meaningful contribution to research projects and empower local and global communities. How can we rethink school education through the prism of Citizen Science? And how can we start from schools to re-establish the links between scientific research and society, while promoting awareness and collaboration?


Throughout the beginning of its history, science was mostly done by non-professional scientists,  (i.e. people moved by passion, love for learning and desire to improve the world around them). As such, Citizen Science (CS) did not always make sense as a term. However, the growing distinction between amateur and professional scientists after the 19th century, made it difficult for non-professional scientists to understand science and make meaningful contributions to it, thus, leading to a call for “Science Democratization”.

Today, we are undoubtedly going through the century where scientific research is one of the most rapidly transforming actors for our societies. Science understanding is turning into a social necessity, while it constitutes a main condition for raised public awareness, sensibilization and action. Worldwide, there is an ever growing community of citizen scientists who use online collaborative tools and open databases to resolve glocal problems and raise public awareness.

The 21st century citizen science has the potential to re-establish the links between scientific research and society and also bring school curriculum closer to real life challenges. Collaborative tools provided by CS, can empower local communities, create and enhance local and global networks, reinforce collaboration, coordinate independent actions to increase their impact and promote sustainable communities of aware and active citizens. And this can start through education.