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Citizen Science in the Natural Sciences

The natural sciences include the life and physical sciences and study nature through observing and understanding phenomena, testing hypotheses, and performing experiments. Key principles such as reliability, validity, objectivity, and predictability are achieved through transparent assumptions, methods, data, and interpretations as well as multidisciplinarity. In this chapter we present insights into the genesis of citizen science in the natural sciences and reflect on the intellectual history of the natural sciences in relation to citizen science today. Further, we consider the current scientific approaches and achievements of natural science projects, which are applying citizen science to address empirical and/or theoretical research, focusing on monitoring programmes. Presenting examples and case studies, we focus on the key characteristics of the scientific inquiries being investigated in the natural sciences through citizen science.Finally, we discuss the consequences of engagement in scientific processes in relation to the future of natural scientists in a complex world.

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