20 Mar 2023 15:00

SEMINAR | Evolving forms of environmentalism in contemporary China

Ca' Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911 Venice

Evolving Forms of Environmentalism in Contemporary China: Making “Scientific-environmental Citizens” through Citizen Science
20 March, 2023 - 3.00PM 
Aula B,  Ca' Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911 Venice

Anna Lora-Wainwright
(Professor of the Human Geography of China, University of Oxford, and former visiting scholar at NICHE)

Environmentalism in China has evolved rapidly in recent years, within the broader context of increasingly tight restrictions on civil society. At the same time, some relatively safe spaces for advocacy and citizen participation in environmental protection have remained. Drawing on collaborative work with Coraline Goron and Shuling Huang, this presentation explores the ways in which citizen science may offer such a space for citizens’ engagement.  It focuses on the ways in which university students who volunteer for an environmental NGO to tackle the huge challenge of rural water quality become “scientific-environmental citizens” (Irwin, 2015; Dobson 2010) through their practices. More broadly, the paper calls for a more contextually-attuned approach to the forms of citizenship nurtured among individual participants in citizen science projects. It proposes that this attention to the development of scientific-environmental citizenship as an outcome of citizen science is particularly valuable where democratic participation is otherwise constrained, but  also yields a more nuanced understanding of citizenship enacted through citizen science in democratic contexts.



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