Understanding Scientific Literacy Through Personal and Civic Engagement: a Citizen Science Case Study

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Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Source Publication

International Journal of Science Education

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DOI: 10.1080/21548455.2022.2047241


Citizen science programs, which engage volunteers in varied aspects of scientific research projects, have been widely touted as a promising avenue for enhancing public scientific literacy and scientific civic engagement. The meanings volunteers make of citizen science experiences can influence the ways that scientific information is translated into action. This paper develops a conceptual framework for understanding scientific literacy in terms of personal and civic engagement with science. The framework is explored through a case study of citizen scientists’ reflections on their experiences in an ecologically focused citizen science program. Findings describe ways that participants drew on their citizen science experiences to use and produce science in and for personal and civic contexts. Implications for enhancing connections between citizen science and personal and civic engagement are discussed.


International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 12, No. 2 (June 2022): 126-142. DOI.