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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 55, Issue 1, 2018

Sergei Yu. Shevchenko
Pages 171-183

Citizen science: are people distinguishable from bacteria?

Technoscientific ethos has specific features in the fields of public expectation of new technologies and their human-oriented char­acter. Today technoscientific ethos can be recognized as a norm in life sciences. The ability to modulate life processes is basic cri­terion of successful theory or approach. But citizen science has in many respects opposite values and there is a significant line of values deliberation that crosses the borders of academic institu­tions. From the one hand, methodological standardization sim­plifies delegation of concrete research practices. But from the other hand we can observe the shift in emphasis from factual and methodological dimension of science towards consideration social role of science and its axiology. The discussions of Merton’s nor­mativity starts again, and citizen participation in this deliberative process is a key issue for description of citizen science in terms of distributed knowledge and collective agent of cognition. In the ar­ticle these problems are considered on an example of solving one of the central problems of modern life sciences – the disclosure of the spatial structure of protein molecules.

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