During the modern age, science has developed into a sphere of professional practice in which certified experts only interact with each other, mostly under exclusion of laypersons. This has begun to be put into perspective in the course of digitalization. This project dedicates itself to the participation of laypersons – facilitated by digitalization – in research and development processes as they become visible in contexts such as Citizen Science and the so-called Maker Movement.

Scientific Issues

Which new roles and patterns of relationships regarding experts and laypersons can be found in these examined cases and which prototypical changes become evident with regard to the relationship between science and society?

Thesis

The difference in roles between experts and laypersons is relativised by the valorization of the amateur’s role in research and development. The new amateurs are not just unrelated onlookers for professional research and development, they are integrated into the matter via techno-social networks.