Youth Participation in Citizen Science: Problems and Opportunities of Engagement in Russian Context

Abstract

We present a study of social participation in Citizen Science. The aim is to identify the problems and opportunities for attracting young people to Citizen Science using an example of genetic research projects held in 2020–2023 in Russia. The paper briefly reviews the development of the understanding and use of Citizen Science, as well as shows its application in genetic research. Empirical data were obtained in the course of qualitative and mass quantitative sociological studies. Scientific, organizational, and social contexts of wide involvement of people in scientific activity are shown. The narratives and motives of interested parties are analyzed. The study revealed limited development of Citizen Science practices in Russia, as well as the underdevelopment of the infrastructure for expanding social participation in scientific research. Moreover, professional scientists in natural sciences show contradictory attitudes and doubts about the involving volunteers in scientific research. We conclude that critical and doubtful attitudes towards Citizen Science decrease as practical experience of interaction is gained. According to data from mass sociological studies, there are significant differences in young people’s assessments of scientific activity and participation in volunteer practices, especially at school age. The necessity to draw public attention to the potential of using Citizen Science in a broad sense has been demonstrated.

Author Biographies

Gulnara F. Romashkina, University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russia

Gulnara F. Romashkina, Dr. Sci. (Sociology), Cand. Sci. (Physics and Mathematics), Professor of the Department of Economic Sociology, University of Tyumen. She is a member of the Bureau of the Scientific and Coordination Council of the All-Russian project “Socio-Cultural Portraits of the Regions of Russia.” She is a certified expert in the scientific and technical field at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, an expert of the Russian Scientific Foundation. She has many years of experience in theoretical and applied sociological, mathematical, and economic research, being the scientific director and executor of works on grants of the Russian Scientific Fund (2023), Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund (2006–2010, 2012–2014), the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research (2016–2022). Currently, she is the Head of RSF grant 23-28-01321 “Analysis of the behavior of participants of the debt market under crisis situations in the related economies” and the Project Head of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation within FNTP GenTech for 2019–2027. The scientific interests of G. Romashkina include economic sociology, mathematical methods and models in economics, methods and means of decision-making, sociological research, methods of data analysis, sociocultural research. G. F. Romashkina is the author of more than 300 scientific publications.

Elena V. Andrianova, University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russia; West-Siberian Branch of the Federal Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen, Russia

Elena V. Andrianova, Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Associate Professor, Head of the Department of General and Economic Sociology, University of Tyumen; Senior Researcher, West-Siberian Branch of the Federal Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Elena V. Andrianova has 20 years of experience in the field of sociological research. Her research has been supported by grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and foreign scientific foundations. Under the guidance of E. V. Andrianova, a series of applied research works was implemented using a wide range of sociological methods. Since 2006, E. V. Andrianova has been conducting monitoring research within the framework of the interregional program “Problems of Socio-Cultural Evolution of Russia and its Regions” as a member of the coordination council of the program. Her main research interests focus on the following topics: socio-economic development, socio-cultural portrait of the region, development of rural areas, human capital, labor relations, labor motivation, economy, trust, food security, values, modern sociological theories. E. V. Andrianova is the chairwoman of the Tyumen Regional Branch of the Russian Society for Sociology.

Marina V. Khudyakova, University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russian Federation

Marina V. Khudyakova, Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Associate Professor of the Department of General and Economic Sociology, University of Tyumen. Her scientific interests include economic behavior of social subjects, motivation of social and economic activity, consumer behavior, and sociology of markets. She is a Member of the Russian Society for Sociology. M. V. Khudyakova is the author of 40 research papers. She has many years of experience in applied sociological research, being an executor of works on grants from the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation (2006, 2009, 2011) and the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research (2020–2022).

Published
2024-04-05
How to Cite
Romashkina, G., Andrianova, E., & Khudyakova, M. (2024). Youth Participation in Citizen Science: Problems and Opportunities of Engagement in Russian Context. Changing Societies & Personalities, 8(1), 108–127. doi:10.15826/csp.2024.8.1.266