Citizen Science in the Digital Age
- Engaging Civil Society in Social Science and Humanities Research -

With the rapid spread of information technology, the term “co-creation”has come into frequent use. Citizen science, collaboration between citizens and scientists, is also an important initiative for jointly shaping society. As one example, citizen science in the natural sciences is highly regarded worldwide. On the other hand, citizen science in the humanities and social sciences can be considered to still be in its infancy.

What role can citizen science play in the field of humanities and social science research, in which the subject of study is ourselves rather than natural phenomena? At a conference jointly organized by NIRA, DIJ, and DWIH Tokyo*, researchers from Japan and overseas discussed the following points in relation to citizen science.

Citizen science has the potential to bring new possibilities to the development of research in the humanities and social sciences. Citizen science itself has the potential to develop by not only obtaining data from citizens, but by utilizing the   intelligence and insight of citizens in the solution of social issues. In order to manifest these potentials, it will be necessary to design protocols for citizen participation, involve universities that support citizen science, and build data provision and management systems based on the perspectives of data ownership and the protection of personal information. In addition, the data platforms provided today by giant IT companies should be regarded not as enemies that fence in data, but rather as tools for sharing data with citizens. The era of big data will be the era of designing the data that one wants to use.

* Citizen Science in the Digital Age - Engaging civil society in social science and humanities research - (Held in September 2019

Nippon Institute for Research   Advancement
German Institute for Japanese   Studies
DWIH Tokyo
German Center for Research and Innovation