Citizen Science: An Opportunity for Learning in the Networked Society

  • Ornit Sagy
  • Yaela Naomi Golumbic
  • Hava Ben-Horin Abramsky
  • Maya Benichou
  • Osnat Atias
  • Hana Manor Braham
  • Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
  • Yael Kali
  • Dani Ben-Zvi
  • Yotam Hod
  • Dror Angel
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 17)


Seeking to promote science communication, civic engagement, and informal education, citizen science is a genre of research that connects scientists and non-scientists around projects involving science. This meeting point creates opportunities for potential benefits to both sides. Scientists may advance their research and obtain prestigious funding while non-scientists stand to gain enjoyment, new skills, and knowledge. To learn more how these inspiring outcomes can be promoted, we conceptualize citizen science and its myriad stakeholders as an ecology. We complement this metaphor with the term mutualism to express our desire for interactions in which all parties benefit from their involvement and propose a Mutualistic Ecology of Citizen Science (MECS) as an analytic framework that can potentially contribute to the design and conceptualization of learning in citizen science projects. In this chapter, we operationalize this framework, using four lenses that span several disciplines to look at potential benefits to different participants.


Citizen science Public participation in research Science communication Learning communities Statistical education Science literacy Socioscientific issues Scientists Mutualistic Ecology of Citizen Science Learning in citizen science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ornit Sagy
    • 1
  • Yaela Naomi Golumbic
    • 2
  • Hava Ben-Horin Abramsky
    • 1
  • Maya Benichou
    • 1
  • Osnat Atias
    • 1
  • Hana Manor Braham
    • 1
  • Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
    • 2
  • Yael Kali
    • 1
  • Dani Ben-Zvi
    • 1
  • Yotam Hod
    • 1
  • Dror Angel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Learning, Instruction, and Teacher Education, Faculty of EducationUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Faculty of Education in Science and TechnologyTechnion – Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Maritime Civilizations, Charney School of Marine ScienceUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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