Do-it-yourself (DiY) science: The proliferation, relevance and concerns

David Sarpong, George Ofosu, David Botchie, Fintan Clear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do-it-yourself (DiY) science and ‘citizen laboratories’ are flourishing as they continue to attract unprecedented numbers of volunteers, communities, groups and venture capitalists. However, the evidence behind why DiY science is proliferating remains scattered and the dominant narratives around DiY practices consist of multiple understandings, beliefs and expectations. In this paper we attempt to map the ever-expanding landscape of the DiY science movement by surveying studies of DiY science practices, in order to highlight the forces driving the phenomenon. We highlight the relevance of DiY science activities to its practitioners and the general public, its positive promise for the birthing of innovative products, as well as the potential risk associated with the phenomenon. We conclude by delineating potential ways of strengthening the operational capacity of DiY community laboratories so as to harness maximum benefits from their operations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120127
Number of pages11
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date4 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. This accepted manuscript version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License [].


  • DiY science
  • Community science hubs
  • Open-science movement
  • Maker movement


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