- Razib, who took the initiative and carried out the analysis
- Scientists who wrote the software used
- 23andMe, who sold a product providing genotype data
- Donors, who paid for the test
- The actual individual who contributed his/her DNA for science
Scientific progress = active brains using tools to examine data and produce new knowledge
In the grand scheme of things it may be a trifle that the Betsileo are Bantu+Malay. But, the fact that ordinary people can band together and produce new knowledge within a few months is anything but a trifle. An equivalent academic study would have taken years: drafting proposals, dealing with funding agencies, getting consent forms, navigating institutional review boards, dealing with bureaucrats, convincing reviewers and editors, and finally producing an article that might end up hidden behind a paywall for the profit of some publishing company.
Would the end product be better? Perhaps, but the whole point of citizen science is that you can do it better, and you can tell the whole world if it's bad.
Citizen science is no longer a sideshow, and traditional science must take her into account, lest she be reduced to a sideshow before long.
There are, of course, things that citizen science can't, or won't do.
It won't do the kind of meaningless navel-gazing work that scientists in some disciplines are able to get away with at the public expense. It won't inveigle in the hope of being printed in the pages of a high-status publication. It won't split and bundle itself into least publishable units. It won't sit in a drawer afraid of having its data and ideas co-opted by the competition.
But, it can't do the type of highly sophisticated, technical and expensive work that requires a concerted interdisciplinary effort and substantial human and monetary resources.
There is plenty of common ground between traditional and citizen science, so let's hope that their noble competition and ability to learn from each other will benefit the lady Science herself.