Call for Abstracts: “Knowledge (Dis)Ruptions in/through Science – from Citizens to Science to Citizen Science” for a special issue for the journal “ethnoscripts”

We would like to invite you to contribute to a proposal for a special issue for the journal “ethnoscripts” dedicated to the topic “Knowledge (Dis)Ruptions in/through Science – from Citizens to Science to Citizen Science”. Please find our current abstract below. If you would like to contribute, we would need an abstract of around 200 words until October 3rd.

Knowledge (Dis)Ruptions in/through Science – from Citizens to Science to Citizen Science
From citizen scientists to shaman cosmologists, from rational scientists to esoteric conspiracists, from designers to coders, hierarchies of knowledge productions seem in a mode of reversal. While speed and capability of producing new knowledge increase, rules that guarantee trust and reliability seem to be breaking. Disruptions of academic modes of reasoning emerge on the basis of Moore’s Law, mimicking the dynamics of technological development. While science projects grant open access to the public – from citizen science participation to public source code – the privatization of knowledge through patenting and secrecy (Jones 2014), the capitalization of public goods is inflational. Simultaneously, symmetrical concepts of knowledge emerge, yet old hierarchies are reproduced. Depending on the observer, digital modes of capitalism turn into a fairytale or a nightmare for those who actively seek to give voice to the mute within the Anthropocene (Haraway 1997).
We are looking for contributions for our special issue, which study how and under what circumstances citizens engage in academic enterprises. We invite scholars who do research amongst and with humans, non-humans and other-than-humans (Haraway 1997, De La Cadena 2014), investigating knowledge productions that reverse, subvert and break with the established rulebook of purification and mediation in the modern and post-modern conceptions of knowledge (Latour 1991). We want to discuss historical implications and forerunners of contemporary rediscovery of citizen science, especially from cultural anthropological perspectives, where lay people have always been engaged in science, be it as interlocutors, informants or as participant observers themselves. And last but not least, we invite contributions that study how (citizen) scientists want to heal the world, how microbes, hard- and software, algorithms and data dictate rules and citizens break rules in order to make and shape knowledge. All researchers who critically study engagements in knowledge making of biospheres and technospheres are invited to this special issue.

Questions we would like to discuss include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • How is citizen science changing knowledge production in scientific research?
  • What new modes of knowledge production emerge?
  • How is professional scientific knowledge production being challenged by new actors and ways of doing science?
  • How are hierarchies and power structures in scientific knowledge production dismantled, reproduced or renegotiated?
  • How can we explain/analyze endeavors to more open access and science alongside privatization of knowledge and data?
  • What new actors claim a role in scientific knowledge production and how do they secure and legitimize their position?
  • How do citizen science projects/ new forms of scientific knowledge production challenge the everyday practices of professional scientists?
  • What new forms of collaborations between professional scientists, the “public”, … can be observed?
  • How do (digital) technologies disrupt and enhance existing practices and open up new possibilities of producing knowledge?
  • What role do we as ethnographers play in these fields of knowledge disruption?
  • How can we as cultural anthropologists design and create e.g. citizen science projects? Or include citizen scientists and other non-professional scientists into our knowledge production?
  • How do digital media allow for new access possibilities to knowledge production?
  • What is considered as knowledge in citizen science?

Proposals for contributions should include a title and a 200 word abstract and must be submitted by October 3rd.

For more information please contact