Do we really need to know "who was first"? I find this sort of discussion is a bit off topic. We all know what citizen science is in the modern world. If people want to keep discussing who was first then please contact each other personally. These sort of
discussions get rather boring to the general readers.
On 26/02/2019 8:49 am, David Rees wrote:
Sorry Phillip but the value of Gilbert White's work is that it has survived. I know the place well where he worked and his observations can be compared with now, down to the behaviour of individual species. Fortunately the area remains pretty
similar to what it was in his day. Ordinary people had a struggle to simply survive back then, literacy levels were low, country clerics etc. on the other hand were literate and on a good wicket. These folk have given us some of the oldest well-recorded
'citizen science', at least in the English speaking world, and also, I understand, elsewhere in Europe. All this happened well before good digital cameras and Canberra nature map etc.......
On Mon, Feb 25, 2019 at 5:23 AM Philip Veerman <> wrote:
Martin it seems appears to wish to dispute whether citizen science is older in Britain or USA. Wow is that distinction worth fussing over? It is a hard one to
define a start point. Even if the RSPB was founded in 1889, if the Christmas Bird Count (I assume the American one), started in 1900, then I wonder if the RSPB had organised any citizen science within 11 years of starting. Existence of RSPB is not of itself
citizen science. So which was the first to reach any kind of data-useful standing? Who cares?
The article makes the point that citizen science refers to in this case: “the dozens of volunteers who took part each year”. Thus Selborne, John James Audubon
and Gilbert White are hardly relevant, when they were working mostly on their own and not part of large scale organised activities (citizen science). The term also carries the general idea that the people involved are not professionals (i.e. paid) but volunteers.
“Erin Rogers, the chair of the Australian Citizen Science Association, said it could provide meaningful data to help form decision-making, while also engaging the general public in science.”
From: Martin Butterfield [
Sent: Sunday, 24 February, 2019 2:49 PM
To: Sue Beatty
Cc: ; Geoffrey Dabb; COG List
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Some good news for Eastern Curlews?
I hope the rest of the article is more correct than this "Professor Justin Marshall, the chief investigator at Coral Watch, said birdwatching
was the oldest form of citizen science, originating in the United States."
- The Natural History of Selborne is a book by English naturalist and ornithologist Gilbert
White. It was first published in 1789.
- John James Audubon (born Jean Rabin; April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851). so unless Audubon
was shotting at the age of 4 he was well behind Gilbert White
Perhaps he is on about the Christmas Bird Count which started in 1900? Nice try no cigar: the RSPB was founded in 1889!
Googling the Professor's name he seems to be, surprisingly in view of that statement, of British birth arther than from the US.
On Sun, 24 Feb 2019 at 14:31, Sue Beatty <> wrote: