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Our colleagues from Ars Electronica, Andrew Newman and Veronika Liebl share insights into the European Union Prize for Citizen Science and explain why citizen science has gained so much power as a discipline and a field where many strands confluence, from arts to chemistry, from astronomy to digital humanities. 


The European Union Prize for Citizen Science recognizes the achievements of Citizen Science initiatives in Europe, but what exactly is being sought and why is Citizen Science so important?

From Citizen Science, DIY Science, Amateur Science, and Public History to Open Science. All terms describe very similar things, namely the participation of non-scientists in scientific projects and processes. New technologies such as smartphones, with their ever-growing technical capabilities, as well as access to social networks, enable a completely new collaboration between citizens and scientists. Citizen scientists report observations, document by means of photography, measure environmental parameters or evaluate data with scientific support – the “Citizen Sciences” are gaining more and more importance.