Citizen scientists are tackling agriculture’s toughest challenges

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Image Credit: Gian Betancourt (CIAT)

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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