Citizen Science

From Wikipedia, a good first step in investigation.

Citizen science (CS; also known as community sciencecrowd sciencecrowd-sourced sciencecivic science, or volunteer monitoring) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists.[1] Citizen science is sometimes described as “public participation in scientific research”, participatory monitoring, and participatory action research whose outcomes are often advancements in scientific research by improving the scientific community’s capacity, as well as increasing the public’s understanding of science.[2][3][4]