Fábio Grigoletto
Fernanda Antunes de Oliveira
Caio Caradi Momesso
Ibrahim Kamel Rodrigues Nehemy
João Emílio de Almeida Junior
Vinícius de Avelar São Pedro
Roberto Greco
Mário Aquino Alves
Tim Edwards

Abstract: Citizen science has established itself as an important approach to the co-production of knowledge and public participation in scientific research. Combined with digital technologies and online tools, the approach has been celebrated as a path toward the democratization of science. However, only a few studies have investigated the role digital technologies play in shaping interactions between people and nature. Additionally, the role of context in shaping online and face-to-face participation in citizen science projects has yet to receive much attention. This article takes a citizen science initiative in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest in the state of São Paulo as an illustrative case of the emergence of unanticipated consequences of digital technologies. The emergence of a socio-material practice of animal identification through a popular instant-messaging app is described, allowing a better understanding of the role of digital technologies and the context framing citizen participation in challenging environments.

Keywords:citizen science; digital technologies; materialities; affordances; participation; digital communities

Roberto Greco