Citizen scientists are tackling agriculture’s toughest challenges

Image Credit: Gian Betancourt (CIAT)
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The power of citizen science to contribute to both science and society is gaining increased recognition, particularly in physics and biology. Although there is a long history of public engagement in agriculture and food science, the term ‘citizen science’ has rarely been applied to these efforts.

Here, we convened thought leaders from a broad range of fields related to citizen science, agriculture, and food science to highlight key opportunities for bridging these overlapping yet disconnected communities/fields and identify ways to leverage their respective strengths. Specifically, we show that citizen science projects are addressing many grand challenges facing our food systems ….

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There are many threats facing our food and agriculture systems. Here, we focus on citizen science projects addressing some of the greatest challenges in the coming decades: monitoring pests/pathogens, preserving biodiversity and ecosystem services, enhancing food safety, nutrition and flavor, improving food security, and strengthening social justice and education. We do not attempt to provide a comprehensive list but highlight projects that have been innovative and/or successful in their approach.

Read full, original article: The role of citizen science in addressing grand challenges in food and agriculture research

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