Environmental problems are not problems of our surroundings, but - in their origins and through their consequences - are thoroughly social problems, problems of people, their history, their living conditions, their relation to the world and reality, their social, cultural and living conditions. . . . At the end of the twentieth century nature is society and society is also ‘nature’. 1
Modernity reaches that new stage . . . when it is able to face up to the fact that science, for all one knows and can know, is one story among many. ‘To face up’ means to accept that certainty is not to be, and yet persevere in the pursuit of knowledge. . . . ‘To face up’ to this fact means to know that the journey has no clear destination - and yet persevere in the travel. 2
This final chapter intends - as final chapters generally do - to bring together the underlying themes and issues of Citizen Science. However, and after several unsuccessful attempts at this, it is quite clear that there is no easy synthesis on offer which can replace enlightenment/modernist thinking.
What should also have been immediately obvious to this author is that such a conclusion follows directly from the whole argument of this book. The very notion of ‘freeing the voices’ (as suggested in Chapter 5) implies an openness to diverse understandings and knowledges. It also suggests the need for reflexivity and the sceptical analysis of knowledge claims. In that sense, this account has offered ‘one story among many’. For it now to claim priority over all alternative stories would be dishonest. Equally, this book is not designed as an exercise in ventriloquism - the point is to establish a