Science for All: The “Popular Supernova Project” and citizen science in China
中文摘要：本文基于公民科学案例「公众超新星搜寻项目」（PSP）分析公民科学在中国的发展情况。PSP项目发起于2015年，是一个典型的专家和业余爱好者合作的公民科学项目。该项目的主要目标是搜索和发现超新星。中国的科学政策在经济改革后的几十年里发生了许多变化，在公民科学领域，较为突出的转变是从毛泽东时代的「群众科学」转变为如今的「全民科学」。2006年，中国政府发布了 「全民科学素质行动计划纲要」，试图为公民科学素养建立衡量标准。本文通过分析PSP项目与中国政府政策转变之间的互动关系，探讨「公民科学」在中国体制下呈现出的特点，我们认为PSP与 「全民科学」战略有着复杂的关系。这一工作为辨别中国 「公民科学」的概念和特征提供独特的视角。
This dissertation analyzes citizen science in China through the case-study of the Popular Supernova Project (PSP). The PSP, which was released in 2015, is a typical citizen science project in which experts and amateurs cooperate. The main goal of the PSP is to search and discover supernovae. From “Mass Science” in the Maoist period to the “Science for All” approach in the present, China’s policy towards citizen science has changed in the decades after the economic reforms. In particular, in 2006, the Chinese government published an outline called “National Action Scheme of Scientific Literacy for All Chinese Citizens”. By analyzing the relationship between the PSP and the policy shift of the Chinese government, this dissertation explores the characteristics of "citizen science" in China and argues that the PSP has a complex relationship with the "Science for All" strategy. This analysis will provide a comparative perspective on the concept and characteristics of the citizen science in China.
Keywords: public participation in scientific research, history of science, amateur astronomy, China, citizen science.
In the 21st century, citizen science has become a global phenomenon. With the popularity of citizen science, a variety of cases have emerged. Citizen science presents different characteristics in different subjects. For example, in the astronomy project Galaxy Zoo, scientists and volunteers work together to deal with the classification of galaxies. On the other hand, in other cases such as the SETI@home project, citizens can contribute their computing power to achieve scientific computing goals. These two projects gradually expanded into a part of the citizen science project platform (Zooniverse and BOINC project).
Thus, scholars began to pay attention to the citizen science types and the concept of citizen science. What is citizen science? What are the typologies of citizen science? How to identify if a specific project is citizen science or not?
Jennifer Shirk et al. constructed the concept of Public Participation in Scientific Research (PPSR) and summarized a set of corresponding frameworks, namely five project models, that is, contractual, contributory, collaborative, co-created and collegial contributions. This model focuses on the allocation of citizens power and the degree of expert participation. In other words, according to Bruno Strasser's understanding, the characteristics of this model can be summarized by "locus of power".
Strasser et al. proposed Five Epistemic practices models: Sensing, Computing, Analyzing, Self-reporting, Making. The Five Epistemic practices models are classified based on the main functions of the public in the project. Sensing means that the public acts as a "sensor" to help scientists collect data. Computing means that the public helps scientists complete scientific computing tasks by donating the "computing power" of personal equipment. Analyzing means that the public needs to use their wisdom to participate in the analysis of scientific data. Self-reporting means that the public provides data for scientific research. Unlike Sensing, the public is more proactive in the form of providing data, and this type mostly appears in the medical field. Making means a "public knowledge production space" created by the public voluntarily. Usually a community laboratory. These spaces provide the public with the possibility to produce knowledge. The model attempts to help analyze citizen science from a broader perspective, avoiding the "class-filled" style like Shirk’s model.
However, the above research framework is usually limited to the context of Europe and the United States, we need a more global perspective. It is worth noting the research of Fan Fa-ti and Chen Shun-Ling. They referred to multiple citizen science cases in Europe, America and especially East Asia. According these cases, they concluded four models of citizen science. Cosmopolitan Community of Knowledge (CS1) means a collaborative project between volunteers and scientists. They emphasized the voluntary, cooperative, and complementary characteristics of citizen science in this model. Science, State, and Citizen (CS2) emphasizes that citizen science is related to the state and ideology. Especially in developing countries in East Asia, science represented power. "Scientific citizenship" became one of the implied conception of citizens. Democracy and Justice (CS3) means the democratization of science and the fairness of the decision-making process. Citizens can participate in the process of scientifically influencing decisions. This model was more prominent in many environmental protection projects. Civic Commons and Techno-Social Infrastructures (CS4) means that new technologies may break traditional forms of knowledge distribution. For example, various open source and open science projects. In addition, new technologies may also bring new technology communities (such as civic hackers). These models were summarized by a series of keywords. The special thing about this model was that they emphasized the significance of political concepts in citizen science. For example, in the CS2 (Science, State, Citizen) model, they believed that some citizen science projects are a manifestation of macro-politics. The political meaning of "citizens" has been re-emphasized, such as the Operation Moonwatch during the Cold War and “Mass Science” during the Maoist era. National ideology and scientific nationalism are reflected in such citizen science cases. Furthermore, Fa-ti Fan analyzed the “Mass Science” of earthquake prediction in the Maoist period. He believed that "citizen" as a political concept should not be ignored. The “Mass Science” was another embodiment of citizen science. As an organized political entity, citizens were also closely related to the concepts of nation-state building, discipline, and surveillance.
On the other hand, academia lacks observations on the recent changes in citizen science policies in China. In 2006, the Chinese government released the “Outline of National Action Scheme of Scientific Literacy for All Chinese Citizens”. According to this “Outline”, science was an important part of citizen literacy, and the improvement of national scientific literacy was conducive to national construction, including independent innovation, economic development, social peace etc. The "Outline" was finally condensed into a national action strategy called the "Science for All", which was gradually implemented in China. This “Outline” promoted a series of scientific construction actions and provided basic contexts for analyzing changes in the field of science policy in China.
The Xingming Observatory is a small observatory organized and established by a group of astronomy amateurs in 2007. After more than ten years of development, several scientific projects were born at the Xingming Observatory. In 2015, Xingming Observatory cooperated with the Chinese Virtual Observatory led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to establish a citizen science project - Popular Supernova Project (PSP). As the name suggests, the goal of the PSP was to find supernovae. But the way to find a supernova depends on the active participation of citizens. The official website of the project translated "citizen science" into the "Science for All".
This dissertation uses the history of "Mass Science" to "Science for All" as the background to observe and analyze the characteristics of the Xingming Observatory, especially take the PSP as an example. As an amateur observatory, how is the relationship between citizens, amateurs, and experts? What are the characteristics of the "Science for All" in the PSP project? What are the connections or changes between the "Science for All" and the "Mass Science"? These issues need further explanation and analysis.
We mainly obtain the required information through the oral history methods - by interviewing of the parties. Interviews are conducted through email and telephone. First, we considered the identities and backgrounds of different interviewees and adjusted the questions. The interviewees included project sponsors, volunteers and experts. Secondly, we sent an email to each interviewee. The content of the email includes self-introduction, research goals and informed consent. Finally, after obtaining the formal consent of the interviewee, we can interview the interviewee by phone or email. It is necessary to emphasize that the Informed Consent is very important. We pointed out in all e-mails sent to interviewees:
1. The author is allowed to use the interview for this dissertation.
2. Allow interviewers to record this interview, such as transcripts, audio recordings and video recordings.
Therefore, all information was obtained with the informed consent of the interviewee. The original records are provided in the appendix. We hope these records can help scholars who interested in this topic.
In terms of question design, we mainly used a combination of open questioning and guided questioning. Open questioning was expressed as a general question, and guided questioning usually ask the interviewee's views and opinions on the topic of citizen science. However, the interview will encounter some difficulties. Guided questions usually mean that we need a trust from the interviewee, otherwise it will be difficult to obtain substantive answers. Especially when it comes to sensitive issues such as related to policies, the interviewees usually adopt avoiding strategies to answer questions. This is the most difficult part of the oral history method that we need to face.
In addition, we used the PSP news releases, media reports, official documents, magazines, and newspapers as primary sources which can be found in the bibliography section.
The purpose of this dissertation is not to debate the pros and cons of different citizen science classification models, but hope to observe and analyze the process of China's science policy after the economic reform using the PSP as an example. This can provide useful research for the scholars who are interested in the topic of Chinese citizen science. In addition, the analysis of the PSP and Xingming Observatory also made new contributions to the research in the issue of citizen science.
In order to establish a historical perspective on the analysis of the Xingming Observatory, in the first section, we need to return to the "Mass Science" of the Maoist period. The scientific movement during the Cultural Revolution established a "foothold" for analyzing the forms of Chinese citizen science. The second section explores China's reform measures after the Cultural Revolution, especially the impact of Deng Xiaoping's economic reform theory on China's science policy. The "Science for All" gradually takes shape in this influence. After this historical overview, the third section analyzes the PSP and the Xingming Observatory. The PSP was established in 2015, which presents itself as one of the first citizen science projects in China. The last section draws on the PSP and studies it to discuss citizen science in China, especially the relationship between experts, volunteers and amateurs.
2. Mass Science
“Mass Science” was a large-scale scientific movement involving the masses in China during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution under the call of Mao Zedong from 1960s to 1970s. According to Schmalzer's collation, “Mass Science” means breaking the traditional top-down knowledge model. It emphasized identity and class status in scientific movement and encouraged workers and peasant classes to challenge the authority of experts.
"Mass" in China usually represents the broad masses of people, and also contains a class meaning. In other words, "mass" was linked to class concepts such as "workers" and "farmers". "Experts", "scholars" and "intellectuals" were "petite bourgeoisie". Mao Zedong believed that this class barrier needed to be broken. Therefore, the city's intellectuals were encouraged and called on many occasions to go to the rural areas to accept "re-learning". This situation has been reflected in the "Down to the Countryside Movement" many times.
In 1942, "Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art" was published during the Yan'an Rectification Movement. At that time, China was in the period of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and Yan'an was the "revolution base" of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In order to reorganize the political atmosphere within the party, the CCP launched the first large-scale mass movement—the Yan'an Rectification Movement. The origin of Mao Zedong's attitude changed towards intellectuals can be traced back to this talk. Mao Zedong described the changes in his feelings for intellectuals, workers and peasants. His attitude changed from "Intellectuals are the cleanest people" to "Workers and peasants are the cleanest people." And thought that the "unreformed" intellectuals were "dirty."
Unsurprisingly, Schmalzer analyzed Mao Zedong’s attitude changes in "Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art". She believed that the Rectification Movement was actually a change in the political trends, all the "privileges" or "special punishments" faced by intellectuals depended on these political trends. 
In addition, she specifically mentioned that the term "science workers" was a politicized reflection of the “Mass Science”. Similar to the general term "comrade" in the communist movement, "science worker" means that "Mass Science" trying to eliminate the influence of class differences through the title. Schmalzer compared the case of Chinese ancient anthropologist Pei Wenzhong with the Western Mary Anning's case. In the nineteenth century, Anning relied on discovering and selling fossils for a living. In the capitalist West, she had more opportunities to prove the results of her work. Even some of the new discoveries were given her name by scientists. But the same situation was attributed to the collective in China. Therefore, Schmalzer believed that individual scientific research results were often buried in the “Mass Science”. In fact, this situation was very common during the “Mass Science” movement. Individual achievements were attributed to higher-level organizations, which in turn belonged to the state. Therefore, it was not surprising to see in the official documents that the achievements were attributed to various names of the nation and party. The usage of the term "mass" has become a "tradition term" of the Communist Party of China. Its purpose was to cover up class conflicts through appropriate "vocabulary".
Another “Mass Science” case comes from Fan Fa-ti's research on the 1970s "Collective monitoring, Collective defense" project in the field of earthquake prediction.
Due to the lack of professional equipment and prediction technology, the Chinese government hoped to use the power of the masses to establish an earthquake prediction program. This prediction program required ordinary people to record and observe the "abnormal" phenomena in daily life, such as the behavior of livestock and wild animals, changes in water quality, rare clouds, etc. The daily life experience of the masses was incorporated into the prediction system. Folk knowledge was valued in this project. Through the discussion of the relationship between experts and the masses, Fan believed that "Collective monitoring, Collective defense" combined the meaning with mass and folk, and this combination had political metaphors and epistemological issue. Unsurprisingly, Fan reached a similar conclusion in his observations on the Maoist “Mass Science”: Mao praised the power of the masses and showed strong anti-elitism.
It should be noted that the "Collective monitoring, Collective defense" project did not mean to abandon the scientific experience of experts. Because the experts of the Earthquake Administration and the observing station played a role in monitoring, this was the fusion of the knowledge of the experts and the masses.
On the other hand, Fan concluded that "this warning system was an extension of the surveillance society under the communist rule". This was reflected in the stipulations on the responsibilities and obligations of the masses. The government required the masses to report "all kinds of abnormal phenomena to local offices in a timely manner," which was similar to the requirement of "always keep an eye out for the enemies of the party and state."
In general, "Mass Science" became a symbol of the Communist Party in the field of scientific practice during the Maoist period. The core feature of “Mass Science” was seen the emphasis on "class status" in the relationship between the masses and experts. Science was seen as a tool. As a member of the elite class, intellectuals and experts had their privileges questioned. Scientists needed to "join with the masses". The “Mass Science” recognized the contribution of the laypeople to scientific research.
3. Science for All
After the Cultural Revolution, China carried out economic reforms and achieved certain results. Reform measures were based on the state-supervised capitalist market economy, such as the establishment of special economic zones, opening to a limited extent to attract foreign investment and joining the World Trade Organization. Its symbolic event was that China surpass Japan in 2010 and became the second-largest economy in the world.
On July 7, 1962, China was in a period of recovery after the Great Leap Forward. The Chinese Communist Party started to reflect and discuss the problems caused by the Great Leap Forward. When it discussed the issue of "production relations", Deng Xiaoping (one of the main leaders who promoted China's economic reforms after the Cultural Revolution.) quoted a folk proverb that Liu Bocheng often hung in his mouth: “It doesn’t matter whether it is a yellow cat or a black cat, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat.”
Later, this proverb was filtered by many people and became: "It doesn’t matter whether it is a white cat or black cat, as long as it catches mice, it is a good cat." The meaning behind it is "to put aside the debate on capitalism and socialism and first raise the level of national productivity." This view became the theoretical background for Deng Xiaoping and later China to implement economic reforms.
In 1988, Deng Xiaoping proposed that "Science and Technology Constitute a Primary Productive Force", which became the theoretical basis for the development of the Communist Party's science and technology strategy. The main purpose of the strategy was to improve the treatment of intellectuals and technical experts, and to expand budget investment and development in the fields of science and technology, such as education and laboratories.
Based on Deng Xiaoping's concept of "Science and Technology Constitute a Primary Productive Force", the Chinese government had successively launched new national strategies in the following decades.
In May 1995, China proposed a strategy of “Invigorating China Through Science and Education”, which was based on the theory “Science and technology are the primary productive forces”. One of the goals of the strategy was to achieve economic growth through increased investment in education and technology. And "science popularization" was one of the methods to achieve this strategic goal.
On June 29th 2002, the Chinese government published the “Law of the People's Republic of China on Popularization of Science and Technology”. The government claimed "This is the first law about popular science on the world." The law generally emphasized the importance of the “Invigorating China Through Science and Education” strategy and incorporated science popularization into the long-term development planning task. Governments at all levels must provide financial support. In addition, science popularization implied a social responsibility and a task that needed to be undertaken by the whole country.
On February 9th 2006, the Chinese government published an outline “The National Medium and Long-Term Program for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020)”. In Article 9 of Chapter VIII, it was clearly mentioned that "improving the science literacy of all citizens and creating a social environment conducive to technological innovation".
Soon, on March 20th 2006, the government published “Outline of National Action Scheme of Scientific Literacy for All Chinese Citizens” (henceforth referred to as Outline). The outline emphasized “This program will improve the scientific quality of all citizens, and help the harmonious development of society”. It was important to note that this outline focused on the concept of "scientific literacy". Dingcheng Ren argued that "scientific literacy" in the outline included "two kinds of competencies" required of the citizen, one was the ability to apply science to practical problems and the other was the ability to participate in public affairs.
The Outline defined specific action goals and tasks, such as improving infrastructure, popular science activities, publicity and education, etc. The outline was aimed at civil servants, officials, farmers, minors, and urban workers (referring to unemployed, migrant workers, service employees, etc.). How to measure the effectiveness of the plan? The government set a benchmark for this purpose.
Before the Outline policy was promoted, the evaluation standard of Chinese citizens’ scientific literacy referred to “The measurement of civic scientific literacy” by Jon D. Miller in the United States. In 1990, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) designed a citizen scientific literacy survey based on Miller's standards. In 1999, the CAST submitted a proposal to the State Council to develop the scientific literacy for all citizens. This proposal became one of the sources of the Outline. After the outline was published, China began to study the scientific quality standards of citizens with "Chinese characteristics" and “in line with China's national conditions”. "Chinese characteristics" is a propaganda term used by the Communist Party of China, derived from the ideological term "socialism with Chinese characteristics". The essential feature of this ideology is "insist on the leadership of the Communist Party of China." And "in line with China's national conditions" usually means to modify relevant policies to adapt to the current social development level. Among them, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) played a key role. The MOST conducted two "civic scientific literacy" evaluation experiments in 2008 and 2012 respectively. From 2006 to 2015, the MOST successively issued three versions of the draft, and finally summed up 25 benchmarks and 130 benchmark points.
On April 18, 2016, the "Benchmarks for China's civic scientific literacy" was officially promulgated. After the benchmark was promulgated, it was opposed by some scientists in the scientific community. The main points of opposition were:
“What scientists consider inappropriate include the existence of inaccurate and imprecise entries, such as article 48, ‘Knowing that forces are the cause of the motion of everything in nature’, which violates Newton's first law of motion. It also includes items that are controversial and even in conflict with modern scientific understanding, such as article 2, ‘Knowing the Yin Yang and the Wuxing (Five Elements), integration of heaven and human, and other traditional Chinese philosophical ideas’ which is not part of modern science. It also includes items that are not directly related to what is generally referred to as science, such as article 23, ‘Awareness of safe production and compliance with production regulations and operating procedures’”.
Therefore, this benchmark incorporated traditional Chinese philosophy and national culture into the scientific literacy evaluation system. In other words, this was a scientific epistemological argument. There were actually precedents for the influence of Chinese traditional culture on science after Cultural Revolution. For example, the Qigong fever problem in the 1980s was supported by Qian Xuesen, a well-known Chinese scientist. Qigong is a traditional control system theory about the human body, which is mostly used for human health and medical purposes. On May 3, 1987, Qian Xuesen promoted and established the Chinese Academy of Human Sciences. Qian Xuesen believed that "human science" was likely to be the next technological revolution. As a branch of human science, Qigong had gradually evolved into a medical practice to some extent. Qian Xuesen hoped to use scientific methods to explain and study Qigong.
Based on the above policy changes, "Science for All" as a national strategy was gradually taking shape in China.
"Science for All" represented the "National Education Plan" based on national strategies. To this end, the state formulated a scientific action plan for the quality of the whole people and set up a special office. On 30 May 2016, Chairman Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of the plan at the 9th National Congress of the China Association for Science and Technology: "Without the general improvement of the scientific literacy of all nationals, it will be difficult to build a grand army of high-literacy innovation, and it will be difficult to achieve rapid transformation of scientific and technological achievements."  This sentence became a slogan and displayed on the official website.
By formulating this benchmark, the Chinese government measured the basic knowledge that a Chinese citizen should possess. The benchmark was finally formulated as an official document by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China. The central government, local governments, and media used this benchmark as a propaganda task to promote and implement it. In fact, the Communist Party of China believed that "science" was a "Productive forces tool" (just like Deng Xiaoping's theory in 1988). The final goal is to achieve the improvement of national competitiveness through the improvement of the "scientific literacy" of all nationals. In addition, technology represented "power", this strategy was also a manifestation of China's hope to win international competition through the development of technology. This "anxiety" of international competition was also reflected in the discussion paper on the classification of citizen science by Fa-ti Fan and Shun-Ling Chen.
The "Science for All" Strategy was also an "education extension" for adults. The document defines "The benchmark as applicable to citizens of the People's Republic of China who are over 18 years old and capable." The official document from the State Council of the People's Republic of China stipulates the implementation method of the "benchmark":
“Please invite all localities and departments to seriously organize party and offices, workers, farmers, educators, city and rural laborers, troops, students, people from all walks of life, etc.; party and government, scientific institutions, enterprises, institutions, schools, troops, and social groups at all levels should organize the "benchmark" learning and training activities; [...] improve the scientific and technological awareness and scientific literacy for all nation, build a good atmosphere to encourage public entrepreneurship and innovation, and implement an innovation-driven development strategy.” 
In general, “Science for All”, as a national strategy, was characterized by a central government agency initiated - the scholar elite set standards - local government agencies as the executive role to promoted the up-down "science popularization action." Citizens, as an integral part of the nation, had an obligation to improve their scientific literacy. Compared with the “Mass Science”, the “Science for All” no longer emphasizes the class political meaning of citizens and experts, but prefers more pragmatic citizen education.
4. The Xingming Observatory and The Popular Supernova Project
The Xingming Observatory was established in 2007 by Gao Xing, a high school teacher, in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China. According to the official website, Xingming was named in honor of Chinese amateur astronomer pioneer Zhou Xingming, who passed away in a car accident in 2004. 
In the beginning, the Xingming Observatory was run by Gao Xing and a small amateur group. In 2010, they launched the Supernova and Asteroid Search Program (SASP). Initially, the SASP project was only carried out on a small scale, and it was mainly involved with amateurs from different places. According to media reports, Gaoxing's astronomical activities also affected his students and the Urumqi No. 1 Middle School.
In 2015, Chinese Virtual Observatory (China-VO) and Xingming Observatory cooperated to rename the SASP project "Popular Supernova Project" (PSP). They announced: "This is the first citizen science project successfully established in the field of Chinese astronomy." The China-VO is affiliated with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. China-VO became a member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) in 2002. The purpose of the virtual observatory is to establish an international astronomical data sharing network and build a technical standard within the cooperation framework of IVOA. In this cooperation, there are two key figures, Cui Chenzhou and Gao Xing.
Cui Chenzhou is the Principle Investigator, Astroinformatics Research Group (Virtual Observatory), National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC). He is also work on Deputy Director, National Astronomical Data Center, NAOC/MOST. We can find from his resume that his main background is closely connected with NAOC.
Gao Xing is a high school physics teacher. He established an astronomical club in Urumqi No. 1 Middle School and Xingming Observatory in 2007. At present, he mainly uses his free time to participate in observatory projects. On the website we can find his brief introductory note: “He has discovered 49 supernovae, 2 dwarf nova, 20 Extragalactic novae, 1 galactic nova, 3 comets, 30 variable stars, hundreds of asteroids (provisional name), and several independent discoveries.”
How does the PSP work? There are three parts in the PSP, volunteers, senior administrators and experts. First of all, volunteers need to register an account with a real name (require Chinese ID Card) and pass a simple answer test (Q&A test). The purpose of the test is to investigate whether the volunteers have carefully read the operation guidebook. Then volunteers can participate in target recognition through the system. The main way of identification on the system is to compare the new and old images which was taken in the same sky area, just like the game "Spot the difference". When volunteers find suspicious supernova targets, they can submit observation results through the system. Subsequently, the senior administrator checks the suspicious target, and if the credibility is high, it will report the result to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) or Transient Name Server (TNS), and apply to other professional observatories (experts) for spectral confirmation. Once confirmed by a professional observatory, the discovery will receive a unique international number issued by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
In fact, to look at pictures is a very boring process for volunteers. The passions for discovering new goals and the love of astronomy are one of the driving forces for volunteers to participate in the PSP. In addition, the PSP also set up official awards to encourage volunteers. When the IAU confirmed the goals discovered by volunteers (hereinafter referred to as "successful target"), Xingming Observatory announced the press release on the official website. If the volunteer finds a successful target for the first time, a "Newcomer Award" is awarded to encourage the discoverer. Every time a new successful target is discovered, Xingming Observatory awards a "Discovery Award" to the discoverers. In an interview with volunteer Zhou Jiu, he mentioned that "I am staying up all night and looking at pictures", and finally he harvested a successful target and won the Newcomer Award and Discovery Award from the Xingming Observatory.
Through interviews, we learned that there were many factors for the successful establishment of the PSP. First of all, the experts and amateurs worked together to find an "easy way" research method. Similar to the Galaxy Zoo's galaxy classification mode, in the PSP, volunteers used their mobile phones or computers to visit websites, and compared the suspicious targets through the new and old pictures. Soon after the project was established, Xingming Observatory discovered several supernovas in succession. Surprisingly, among the co-discoverers of these supernova, there was a 10-year-old elementary school student. This event was also noticed and reported by the press. The PSP also claimed that this research method was suitable not only for adults, but also for the elderly and elementary school students. From the interview with Gao Xing, we learned that so far, more than 20,000 volunteers had registered the PSP, the effective number of volunteers had exceeded 10,000 (who finished the Q&A test), and over 200 people were the long-term volunteers. This means that the Xingming Observatory has a considerable user base.
Second, the PSP received support from a team of government experts. China-VO provided support for the PSP system and some hardware. 
Third, a small number of amateurs have been involved in this project for a long time. Later, some amateurs became the member of operator team, known as "senior administrators".
By observing the production process of knowledge in the PSP, we found that these senior administrators played a very interesting role. First, senior administrators helped volunteers to review suspicious targets. The purpose was to avoid false positives. It required a rich experience base to distinguish suspicious targets. The founder and general manager, Gao Xing also participated in the review of most goals.
Second, senior administrators are responsible for reporting targets to international organizations which mean this process was more difficult for ordinary volunteers. When the target was reported to the international organization, the volunteer and the senior administrators who helped the volunteer to review the target were recognized as "co-discoverers" in the report.
Therefore, senior administrators become a "bridge" between experts and volunteers. Senior administrators do not have more specific research purposes than experts. But they have a basic astronomical knowledge and skills, which played a "buffer" role between experts and volunteers.
In addition, the interviews showed that volunteers and amateur astronomers also maintained interesting relationships in the PSP. Volunteers may not be limited to the role of volunteers. They may also be students, teachers, experts, etc. Everyone could find their needs in the PSP. As Gao Xing said in the interview: " According to the different characteristics presented by each person, a good ecological environment is formed, just like biodiversity."
The Xingming Observatory also includes Nova Search Program (NSP), Comet Search Program (CSP), Half Meter Telescope (HMT), Ningbo Bureau of Education and Xinjiang Observatory Telescope (NEXT), and Photometric Auxiliary Telescope (PAT) projects.
For example, HMT is an Internet crowdfunding project initiated by amateurs. The goal is to conduct extensive observations on various celestial bodies. This project also has cooperation between experts and amateurs. But the project is still in the early testing stage. Therefore, what we want to emphasize here is that the PSP, as a sub-project of Xingming Observatory, has achieved scientific results after several years of development. According to official reports, as of 2020, Xingming Observatory has discovered 17 supernovae and 6 extragalactic novae which obtained international organization certification.
So far, there is an unclear boundary between "citizen science" and the "Science for All" in China. For example, the website followed the official name "Science for All" in Chinese, but the English translation used "Citizen Science" to describe the PSP. Is that mean the PSP is one of the "Science for All" project? Or is it just a translation problem? To answer these questions, we need to observe from multiple angles.
After cooperating with the National Astronomical Data Center (NADC) represented by the China-VO, PSP had an indirect connection with government’s "Science for All". The PSP system was provided by the NADC, and registration of the system requires real-name registration of Chinese citizens. This feature actually coincides with the concept of Chinese citizens emphasized in the "Outline". Therefore, in the “Science for All” and in the PSP, "citizen" first represents a legal concept, that is, having a legal nationality status. The difference was that the American citizen science platform Zooniverse was relatively more open, and users only needed the email to register and participate in citizen science projects. In addition, Gao Xing stated in the interview that the "Outline" put positive significance to the development of the "Science for All" and pointed out the direction for future development. This actually became a side proof of the connection between the Xingming Observatory and the "Science for All".
Secondly, “citizen” in the PSP also contain a concept of identity. This means that citizens contain emotions of "national honor" and "collectivism". For example, in an interview with volunteer Xu Zhangrui, when we talk about target reporting rules, they believed that the filtered reporting rules help prevent false positives. All volunteers and senior administrators work together as a "group." This can enhance the credibility of Xingming Observatory, and any false positives will have an impact on the country’s credibility in the field of astronomy. This view was also reflected in Gao Xing's interview "Once a senior administrator has a mistake in the direction of the check, it will directly affect the international reputation of the Xingming Observatory team, and even affect the image of China." 
However, as a scientific project promoted by astronomy amateurs, the PSP has different characteristics than the “Science for All”. Citizens voluntarily participate in the PSP research. They communicate and discuss with senior administrators through Internet chat software (called QQ) at any time. From this perspective, senior administrators had partially replaced the role of experts. As a "half-expert" group, senior administrators can answer questions and queries with volunteers at any time. In particular, the confirmation of the spectrum of supernova observations required international cooperation. For example, certain supernova targets may "re-brightening," and the Xingming Observatory broadcasted via the Astronomer's Telegram network to remind other observatories to pay attention to this event. This international cooperation has repeatedly been reflected in The Astronomer's Telegram network. They lead volunteers to participate in international astronomical scientific research practices. As the “Intermediary” of the PSP, the senior administrator turned the data of the PSP into scientific research value result, which actually broke the limitation of the “Science for All” as a national propaganda strategy.
Furthermore, the concept of citizen science needs to be considered from a global perspective. Citizen science had different characteristics in different disciplines, fields, and countries. The term Citizen has a complex political concept, that is, the scope represented in different contexts is different. As Fa-ti Fan emphasized, citizenship had political significance in the “Mass Science”. And it still has political significance in “Science for All”, in which citizens are equivalent to “nationals”. The legality and identity of citizens emphasized in the “Science for All”, is actually the same as "help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology" declared by Project 2061 in the United States.
The term “Citizen” can also be limited to "city" or "community", typical projects such as "Community Lab for Citizen" and later "Community of Citizen scientists". These projects are usually related to the daily life of citizens, this feature is also often seen in the environmental citizen science projects. In other words, the concept of "citizen" does not necessarily have to rise to the scope of the state.
Through interviews with experts and Gao Xing, we learned that during the practice of Xingming Observatory, some interesting phenomena have emerged, that is, there is also a competitive relationship between amateur astronomers and experts. For example, Cui Chenzhou believed that with the advancement of technology, the possibility of amateur astronomers participating in astronomical research has increased. This was a challenge for professional astronomers. On the other hand, professional astronomers usually have more resources, such as data collection and storage capabilities are much higher than amateur astronomers, so they have an advantage in observation capabilities. 
For this contradiction, Xingming Observatory showed a possible solution. For example, as Gao Xing said: "The difference between professional astronomers and amateur astronomers is the depth and breadth in the area of research. The research directions of the Xingming Observatory are diversified, and they are more flexible than the professional observatory. However, due to limited expertise, further analysis can be left to the experts." He believes that there will be more cooperation cases between amateurs and experts in the future.
We also interviewed professional astronomer Ye Quanzhi, who also admitted the contradiction between amateur astronomers and professional astronomers. He used the PSP as an analogy: "The program developed by experts can easily process the data generated by multiple PSPs, but it will take longer time if these data are processed by the volunteers." But he is also frank, "technological progress (including the progress of communication technology) has increased the interaction between experts and amateurs. In areas where experts are still difficult to deal with, the model of citizen science will show value". Ye Quanzhi also provided a specific example: "The term Spectroscopic Bottleneck refers to the phenomenon that the spectral confirmation capabilities of new objects cannot keep up with the discovery speed of new objects. But with the popularization of spectrometers, amateurs with certain capabilities can participate to confirm the spectrum of the new celestial body." In fact, we think this process of "technical upgrading" affected both amateurs and experts. This competition-cooperation relationship is a dynamic process. Amateurs are catching up with experts in observing ability. On the other hand, experts have advantages in resources, they can build more advanced observation equipment and once again pose a challenge to amateurs. The new research direction for amateurs that Ye Quanzhi introduced is actually a repetition of this paradigm.
Compared with Mao Zedong's "Mass Science", China's science policy today has changed a lot. If we consider the concept of "a citizen member of an organized political entity, most likely that of a state" mentioned by Fa-ti Fan in the case of "collective monitoring, collective defense", the definition of citizen in “Mass Science” and “Science for All” is the same.  But we need to consider the relationship between experts and the masses. In the “Mass Science”, experts need to be integrated into the masses. For example, in order to cover up class contradictions, the concept "scientific workers" is used to refer to experts. In the "Down to the Countryside Movement", experts and intellectuals had to go to the countryside, work with farmers and workers, and even emphasized that experts should obtain education from this kind of productive labor practice.
In “Science for All”, the relationship between the masses and experts has changed. The masses here include different classes (farmers, workers, students, officials, etc.), and these people are actually the "target of science education". The state provides opportunities and conveniences experts to popularize science through activities initiated by official institutions and strengthening infrastructure (such as museums and laboratory).
In “Mass Science”, folk knowledge like "collective monitoring, collective defense" and was officially recognized. In the 1980s, after the economic reforms in China, a great discussion started over the Qigong fever. Despite the controversy within the Communist Party of China, it was still supported by many scientists and politicians. Qigong, as a product of traditional Chinese medical concepts and philosophy, was once included in the category of human science in the 1980s.
In “Science for All”, the status of the folk knowledge is replaced by the benchmark customized by the elite. However, the formulation of this benchmark emphasizes that it must have "Chinese characteristics and conform to China's national conditions." Therefore, Chinese traditional philosophy (Yin and Yang) and Chinese traditional medicine content are included in the benchmark. From these cases, the influence of traditional culture on citizen science (especially in the medical field) has never disappeared.
In the PSP, the concept of citizen is influenced by the "Science for All" strategy. Real-name registration is required for government-supported systems. Volunteers and senior administrators reflect that "citizens" represent the identity of "nationals". In addition, the founder Gao Xing also admitted in the interview that the "Outline" showed positive significance. Therefore, “citizen as a member of organized political entity” emphasized by Fan Fa-ti was confirmed again. However, we cannot ignore the data openness of the Xingming Observatory and the cooperation with the international organization. In particular, senior administrators acted as a "bridge" connecting ordinary volunteers with IAU and experts. This model became one of the clearest characteristics of the PSP. Senior administrators had replaced some of the functions of experts, but they could not leave the guidance and help from experts. From this point of view, the openness of Xingming Observatory makes it a project that cannot be understood as an “application” of the “Science for All”, they are different.
Finally, we discovered a "competitive relationship" between amateurs and experts. This contradiction is actually a dynamic development process. The analysis of this relationship will provide a new focus for future citizen science research.
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Thanks to my tutors Jaume Sastre and Miguel Carandell who helped me a lot. Thanks to every volunteers, experts and Gao Xing for accepting my interview.
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