Skip to main content
×
Home

Introduction: Lay Participation in the History of Scientific Observation

  • Jeremy Vetter (a1)
Abstract

Why and how have lay people participated in scientific observation? And on what terms have they collaborated with experts and professionals? We have become accustomed to the involvement of lay observers in the practice of many branches of science, including both the natural and human sciences, usually as subordinates to experts. The current surge of interest in this phenomenon, as well as in the closely related topic of how expertise has been constructed, suggests that historians of science can offer a valuable contribution to these vital questions. A historical approach to lay participation allows us to better understand the making of expert-lay relations in science, and it offers a broader, long-term perspective on contemporary debates about that boundary.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Introduction: Lay Participation in the History of Scientific Observation
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Introduction: Lay Participation in the History of Scientific Observation
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Introduction: Lay Participation in the History of Scientific Observation
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Agrawal Arun. 1995. “Dismantling the Divide between Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge.” Development and Change 26:413–39.
Alberti Samuel J. M. M. 2001. “Amateurs and Professionals in One County: Biology and Natural History in Late Victorian Yorkshire.” Journal of the History of Biology 34:115–47.
Allen Barbara L. 2003. Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor Disputes. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Barrera-Osorio Antonio. 2006. Experiencing Nature: The Spanish American Empire and the Early Scientific Revolution. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Barrow Mark V. 1998. A Passion for Birds: American Ornithology after Audubon. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Brown Phil. 1987. “Popular Epidemiology: Community Response to Toxic Waste-Induced Disease in Woburn, Massachusetts.” Science, Technology, and Human Values 12 (3/4):7885.
Brown Phil. 1992. “Popular Epidemiology and Toxic Waste Contamination: Lay and Professional Ways of Knowing.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 33:267–81.
Brown Phil. 2007. Toxic Exposures: Contested Illnesses and the Environmental Health Movement. New York: Columbia University Press.
Carey Daniel. 1997. “Compiling Nature's History: Travellers and Travel Narratives in the Early Royal Society.” Annals of Science 54:269–92.
Charvolin Florian. 2004. “Une Science Citoyenne? Le Programme Feederwatch et la Politique des Grands Nombres.” Revue Développement Durable et Territoires, no. 19.
Charvolin Florian, Micoud André, and Nyhart Lynn K., eds. 2007. Des sciences citoyennes? La question de l'amateur dans les sciences naturalistes. La Tour d'Aigues: Editions de l'Aube.
Collins H. M., and Evans Robert. 2002. “The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience.” Social Studies of Science 32:235296.
Cook Harold J. 2007. Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Cooper Alix. 2007. Inventing the Indigenous: Local Knowledge and Natural History in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Corburn Jason. 2005. Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Daston Lorraine. 2008. “On Scientific Observation.” Isis 99:97110.
Daston Lorraine, and Lunbeck Elizabeth, eds. 2011. Histories of Scientific Observation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Dupré John. 1993. The Disorder of Things: Metaphysical Foundations of the Disunity of Science. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Dupré John. 1999. “Are Whales Fish?” In Folkbiology, edited by Medin Douglas L. and Atran Scott, 461–76. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Dym Warren. 2008. “Scholars and Miners: Dowsing and the Freiberg Mining Academy.” Technology and Culture 49:833–59.
Ellis Rebecca, and Waterton Claire. 2004. “Environmental Citizenship in the Making: The Participation of Volunteer Naturalists in UK Biological Recording and Biodiversity Policy.” Science and Public Policy 31:95105.
Ellis Rebecca, and Waterton Claire. 2005. “Caught between the Cartographic and the Ethnographic Imagination: The Whereabouts of Amateurs, Professionals, and Nature in Knowing Biodiversity.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23:673–93.
Endersby Jim. 2001. “‘the Realm of Hard Evidence’: Novelty, Persuasion and Collaboration in Botanical Cladistics.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32:343–60.
Epstein Steven. 1995. “The Construction of Lay Expertise: AIDS Activism and the Forging of Credibility in the Reform of Clinical Trials.” Science, Technology, and Human Values 20:408–37.
Epstein Steven. 1996. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Evans Robert, and Plows Alexandra. 2007. “Listening without Prejudice? Re-Discovering the Value of the Disinterested Citizen.” Social Studies of Science 37:827–53.
Fan Fa-ti. 2003. “Science in a Chinese Entrepot: British Naturalists and Their Chinese Associates in Old Canton.” Osiris 18:6078.
Ferris Timothy. 2002. Seeing in the Dark: How Backyard Stargazers Are Probing Deep Space and Guarding Earth from Interplanetary Peril. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Fischer Frank. 2000. Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Durham NC: Duke University Press.
Goldstein Daniel. 1994. “‘Yours for Science’: The Smithsonian Institution's Correspondents and the Shape of Scientific Community in Nineteenth-Century America.” Isis 85:573–99.
Gooday Graeme. 2008. “Liars, Experts and Authorities.” History of Science 46:431–56.
Green Musselman Elizabeth. 2003. “Plant Knowledge at the Cape: A Study in African and European Collaboration.” International Journal of African Historical Studies 36:367–92.
Grove Richard. 1996. “Indigenous Knowledge and the Significance of South-West India for Portuguese and Dutch Constructions of Tropical Nature.” Modern Asian Studies 30:121–43.
Harris Steven J. 1998. “Long-Distance Corporations, Big Sciences, and the Geography of Knowledge.” Configurations 6:269304.
Heiman Michael K. 1997. “Science by the People: Grassroots Environmental Monitoring and the Debate over Scientific Expertise.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 16:291–99.
Irwin Alan. 1995. Citizen Science: A Study of People, Expertise and Sustainable Development. London: Routledge.
Irwin Alan. 2001. “Constructing the Scientific Citizen: Science and Democracy in the Biosciences.” Public Understanding of Science 10:118.
Jasanoff Sheila, and Martello Marybeth Long, eds. 2004. Earthly Politics: Local and Global in Environmental Governance. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Jones Dewi. 2002. “‘Nature-Formed Botanists’: Notes on Some Nineteenth Century Botanical Guides of Snowdonia.” Archives of Natural History 29:3150.
Keeney Elizabeth B. 1992. The Botanizers: Amateur Scientists in Nineteenth-Century America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Kleinman Daniel Lee. 1998. “Beyond the Science Wars: Contemplating the Democratization of Science,” Politics and the Life Sciences 17:133–45.
Kohler Robert E. 2006. All Creatures: Naturalists, Collectors and Biodiversity, 1850–1950. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kohler Robert E. 2007. “Finders, Keepers: Collecting Sciences and Collecting Practice.” History of Science 45:428–54.
Kohler Robert E. 2008. “From Farm and Family to Career Naturalist: The Apprenticeship of Vernon Bailey.” Isis 99:2856.
Lankford John. 1981. “Amateurs versus Professionals: The Controversy over Telescope Size in Late Victorian Science.” Isis 72:1128.
Law John, and Lynch Michael. 1990. “Lists, Field Guides, and the Descriptive Organization of Seeing: Birdwatching as an Exemplary Observational Activity.” In Representation in Scientific Practice, edited by Lynch Michael and Woolgar Steve, 267–99. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Leach Melissa, and Fairhead James. 2002. “Manners of Contestation: ‘Citizen Science’ and ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ in West Africa and the Caribbean.” International Social Science Journal 54:299311.
Lewis Andrew J. 2005. “A Democracy of Facts, an Empire of Reason: Swallow Submersion and Natural History in the Early American Republic.” William and Mary Quarterly 62:663–96.
Low Christopher H. 2007. “Different Histories of Buchu: Euro-American Appropriation of San and Khoekhoe Knowledge of Buchu Plants.” Environment and History 13:333–61.
Macdonald Helen. 2002. “‘What Makes You a Scientist Is the Way You Look at Things’: Ornithology and the Observer 1930–1955.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 33:5377.
McCook Stuart. 1996. “‘It May Be Truth, but It Is Not Evidence’: Paul Du Chaillu and the Legitimation of Evidence in the Field Sciences.” Osiris 11 (2):177–97.
Mitman Gregg. 2005. “In Search of Health: Landscape and Disease in American Environmental History.” Environmental History 10:184210.
Murphy Michelle. 2006. Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers. Durham NC: Duke University Press.
Nash Linda. 2006. Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nyhart Lynn. 2010. “Emigrants and Pioneers: Moritz Wagner's ‘Law of Migration’ in Context.” In Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences, edited by Vetter Jeremy, 3958. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
Ottinger Gwen. 2010. “Buckets of Resistance: Standards and the Effectiveness of Citizen Science.” Science, Technology, and Human Values 35:244–70.
Parrish Susan Scott. 2006. American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural History in the Colonial British Atlantic World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Porter Roy. 1978. “Gentlemen and Geology: The Emergence of a Scientific Career, 1660–1920.” Historical Journal 21:809–36.
Reidy Michael. 2008. Tides of History: Ocean Science and Her Majesty's Navy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rothenberg Marc. 1981. “Organization and Control: Professionals and Amateurs in American Astronomy, 1899–1918.” Social Studies of Science 11:305–25.
Rudwick Martin J. S. 1985. The Great Devonian Controversy: The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Santos Boaventura de Sousa, ed. 2007. Another Knowledge Is Possible: Beyond Northern Epistemologies. London: Verso.
Schiebinger Londa, and Swan Claudia, eds. 2005. Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics in the Early Modern World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Schneider Daniel W. 2000. “Local Knowledge, Environmental Politics, and the Founding of Ecology in the United States: Stephen Forbes and ‘The Lake as Microcosm’ (1887).” Isis 91:681705.
Schumaker Lyn. 2001. Africanizing Anthropology: Fieldwork, Networks, and the Making of Cultural Knowledge in Central Africa. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Scott James C. 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Secord Anne. 1994a. “Corresponding Interests: Artisans and Gentlemen in Nineteenth-Century Natural History.” British Journal for the History of Science 27:383408.
Secord Anne. 1994b. “Science in the Pub: Artisan Botanists in Early Nineteenth-Century Lancashire.” History of Science 32:269315.
Sillitoe Paul, ed. 2007. Local Science vs. Global Science: Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge in International Development. New York: Berghahn Books.
Smith Pamela H. 2004. The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Stebbins Robert A. 1979. Amateurs: On the Margin between Work and Leisure. Beverly Hills CA: SAGE.
Stebbins Robert A. 1980. “Avocational Science: The Amateur Routine in Archaeology and Astronomy.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 21:3448.
Turnbull David. 1997. “Reframing Science and Other Local Knowledge Traditions.” Futures 29:551–62.
Urry James. 1972. “Notes and Queries on Anthropology and the Development of Field Methods in British Anthropology, 1870–1920.” Proceedings of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 45–57.
Valencius Conevery Bolton. 2002. The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land. New York: Basic Books.
Vetter Jeremy. 2008. “Cowboys, Scientists, and Fossils: The Field Site and Local Collaboration in the American West.” Isis 99:273303.
Watson-Verran Helen, and Turnbull David. 1995. “Science and Other Indigenous Knowledge Systems.” In Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, edited by Jasanoff Sheila, Markle Gerald E., Petersen James C. and Pinch Trevor, 115–39. London: SAGE.
Wynne Brian. 1992. “Misunderstood Misunderstanding: Social Identities and Public Uptake of Science.” Public Understanding of Science 1:281304.
Wynne Brian. 1996. “May the Sheep Safely Graze? A Reflexive View of the Expert-Lay Knowledge Divide.” In Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards a New Ecology, edited by Lash Scott, Szerszynski Bronislaw and Wynne Brian, 4483. London: SAGE.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Science in Context
  • ISSN: 0269-8897
  • EISSN: 1474-0664
  • URL: /core/journals/science-in-context
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 176 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 288 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.