Master Science Hobbyists: Characteristics, Motivations, Experiences and Career Trajectories

This National Science Foundation supported research is examining the characteristics, motivations, in- and out-of-school experiences, informal science activities and career trajectories of citizen scientists and “master hobbyists.” The project is documenting who these individuals are; their career pathways; how they engage in their hobbies; and what motivates, sustains and defines their scientific interests.

In the first year, the project interviewed more than 100 master science hobbyists and citizen scientists, and in the second year we have surveyed over 2,000 science hobbyists with a range of scientific hobbies. The results will provide insight as to why hobbies are attractive to one group or another and can inform educators about new ways to design science programs for individuals with different levels of interest and expertise.

Selected Resources