ASP2020: A Virtual Conference
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Citizen Science in Astronomy and Language Diversity
In a two-year project focused on examining the presence of multilingualism and translation on citizen platforms, we have noted English continues to hold a place of privilege as the language of scientific creation and dissemination. Though this conclusion may not be ground-breaking on its own, it is important to consider the implications this has for the dissemination of astronomy research, particularly in online spaces that are thought as being transnational in reach and more democratic than other offline arenas. In this short presentation, we wish to present data specifically related to citizen science projects in astronomy and potential directions that could foster more language diversity. We focus more specifically on data and findings from two predominant citizen science platforms: Zooniverse and the Canadian Citizen Science Portal. We examine whether project building guidelines and official language policy have an effect on language diversity and, by extension, linguistic justice (a concept we will also define in this presentation). Our work serves to illustrate the fruitful dialogue that can take place across disciplines: it is worth noting that our research team's composition includes researchers from both the STEM and Social Sciences and Humanities. Our project and its findings can serve as a basis for citizen scientists and researchers to consider multilingualism and translation as a value-added to the research process rather than as barriers to communication. Our work also speaks to researchers at all career stages interested in disseminating their findings across linguistic and disciplinary divides. We contend intercultural dialogue and interlinguistic contributions in citizen science are necessary to engage with different research traditions and worldviews. This research project has been supported by the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada Insight funding.
Conference Strand: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Social Justice