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Special Collection

Biomedical Citizen Science

Collection launched: 08 Nov 2022

Citizen science projects relevant to human health and the biosciences are on the rise. Initiated, executed, and championed by individuals from diverse disciplinary and experiential backgrounds, these projects cover a range of objectives and participatory designs. Examples of biomedical citizen science activities include public health studies that engage communities in data collection, including participatory and community epidemiology studies; initiatives led by patients and caregivers to understand and treat disease; biomedical research and biotechnology development occurring in non-traditional spaces, such as community laboratories; and self-tracking and self-experimentation activities to improve health and well-being. This special collection comprises 12 research articles and essays that explore how citizen scientists facilitate biomedical discovery and the practical, social, legal, and ethical dimensions of their work. The broad goal of the collection is to increase awareness of citizen science engagement in the biomedical sciences and promote dialogue among its global stakeholders. Further, improved understanding can support development of best practices in biomedical citizen science and productive relationships, where desired, between citizen science and institutionalized forms of biomedicine.

Guest editors: Christi Guerrini, Joanna Kempner, Lisa Rasmussen, Anna Wexler