Exploring citizen science in post-socialist space: Uncovering its hidden character in the Czech Republic

Abstract

Citizen science is a relatively new phenomenon in the Czech Republic and currently a general overview of existing citizen science projects is not available. This presents the challenge to uncover the ‘hidden’ citizen science landscapes. The main objective of this paper is to explore the (public) representation of citizen science (CS) projects and to describe their heterogeneity. The study aims to answer the question of what type of projects in the Czech Republic meet the definition of citizen science. Based on a specific methodological data-base search approach, we compiled a set of CS projects (N = 73). During the classification process, two general citizen science categories were identified. The first group (N = 46) consists of “pure” CS projects with a prevalence towards the natural sciences, principally ornithology, and thus corresponding to general European trends. Citizens usually participate in such research in the form of data collection and basic interpretation, and a high level of cooperation between academia and NGOs was detected. The second group of “potential” CS projects (N = 27) entails various forms of public participation in general, frequently coordinated by NGOs. Based on these results, we discuss the position of citizen science in the Czech Republic, including socially-oriented citizen science. Further research is strongly encouraged to achieve a more in-depth insight into this social phenomenon.

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