11 June 2013

The preserve of professionals?

On citizen science, Muki Haklay writes:
"...by definition, citizen science can only exist in a world in which science is socially constructed as the preserve of professional scientists in academic institutions and industry because, otherwise, any person who is involved in a scientific project would simply be considered a contributor and, potentially, a scientist. ...[U]ntil the late 19th century, science was mainly developed by people who had additional sources of employment that allowed them to spend time on data collection and analysis. Famously, Charles Darwin joined the Beagle voyage, not as a professional naturalist but as a companion to Captain FitzRoy. Thus, in that era, almost all science was citizen science albeit mostly by affluent gentlemen and gentlewomen scientists."
It's an interesting point. What other elements of our society and culture do we consider the preserve of professionals? Am I a citizen athlete, citizen chef or citizen seamstress?