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Special issue on peer-to-peer and user-led science: invited comments

22/03/2010

Abstract

In this commentary, we collected three essays from authors coming from different perspectives. They analyse the problem of power, participation and cooperation in projects of production of scientific knowledge held by users or peers: persons who do not belong to the institutionalised scientific community. These contributions are intended to give a more political and critical point of view on the themes developed and analysed in the research articles of this JCOM special issue on Peer-to-peer and user-led science.

Michel Bauwens, Christopher Kelty and Mathieu O'Neil write about different aspects of P2P science. Nevertheless, the three worlds they delve into share the "aggressively active" attitude of the citizens who inhabit them. Those citizens claim to be part of the scientific process, and they use practices as heterogeneous as online peer-production of scientific knowledge, garage biology practiced with a hacker twist, or the crowdsourced creation of an encyclopedia page. All these claims and practices point to a problem in the current distribution of power. The relations between experts and non-experts are challenged by the rise of peer-to-peer science. Furthermore, the horizontal communities which live inside and outside the Net are not frictionless. Within peer-production mechanisms, the balance of power is an important issue which has to be carefully taken into account.

Invited comments

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Framing engagement: expert-youth interaction in a PES event Sampsa Saikkonen, Esa Valiverronen 08/04/2014
Narrative as a learning tool in science centers: potentials, possibilities and merits Mai Murmann, Lucy Avraamidou 02/04/2014
Examining perceptions of astronomy images across mobile platforms Lisa F. Smith, Kimberly K. Arcand, Jeffrey K. Smith, Randall K. Smith, Jay Bookbinder, Megan Watzke 25/03/2014
Communicating evolution with a Dynamic Evolutionary Map Sonia H. Stephens 13/03/2014
All articles…
Science blogs and public engagement with science: practices, challenges, and opportunities Inna Kouper 26/02/2010
Museums for Science Education: can we make the difference? The case of the EST project Maria Xanthoudaki, Brunella Tirelli, Patrizia Cerutti, Sara Calcagnini 21/06/2007
Changing the meaning of peer-to-peer? Exploring online comment spaces as sites of negotiated expertise Marie-Claire Shanahan 22/02/2010