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Crowdsourcing Vector Surveillance: Mosquito Mappers and Citizen Scientists Encounters

Fri, September 1, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Sheraton Boston, Floor: 3, Beacon H

Abstract

Citizen science projects are becoming increasingly popular as a way to expedite data collection in the realm of public health. Crowdsourcing, most commonly used in chronic diseases research, is now being applied to tackle mosquito vector borne diseases, such as Zika, Dengue, and Malaria. Mobile apps that allow people to collect and share data on mosquito larvae and mosquito breeding sites, anywhere and at any time, are expected to help develop local mitigation strategies to reduce disease risk. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with entomologists, computer scientists and public health officials, this study looks at the experiences of Mosquito Alert, Invasive Mosquito, The North American Mosquito Project, and Mosquito Challenge, four crowdsourced citizen science projects to examine the “worldly” encounters and frictions between expert/citizen and global/local knowledges. This paper focuses on these projects’ mosquito mapping software design and field implementation processes to revise how the categories of “indigenous knowledge,” “citizen science,” and “zones of awkward engagement” inform our understanding of global production networks.

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