The blurred boundaries between science and activism



Science and activism are terms which are usually seen as quite separate. Yet, they are inextricably linked, even more so as techno scientific progress permeates contemporary society. The five commentaries in this series provide insights for a discussion about how the (apparent) separation between “value laden” activism and “value free” science is in fact very thin, and how science communication can play a key role in ensuring reflexivity and self criticism in science.


11 June 2015



The validity of citizen science conducted by community activists is often questioned because of the overt values that activists bring to their investigations.


This commentary explores a traditionally supposed boundary between science and politics, with particular attention to activist scientists who engage in public communication.


Knowledge is not static or unique. It can be exchanged between activists, academia and policy circles: from science to activism and from activism to science.


The organization and functioning of research have radically changed over the last 10 or 20 years, as a result of a determined political action.


After being cosseted by the media for what they incorrectly considered to be a scientific feat, the author found himself widely boycotted by the more “responsible” media.