EU Research & Innovation Days 2019 – reflections

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The previous post is more of a summary of the conference, but this one is aimed at capturing my reflections from these three days of (fairly high level) science event. This wasn’t a typical event, and it somewhat felt like Carlos Moedas (the leaving commissioner) farewell action as a commissioner, to get the research community that is linked to EU funding on board of the vision that he set for Horizon Europe.

But as I pointed, while it was great to see that in terms of participation, the gender balance in science is getting better (trying to guess I would estimate 30% or more female participants), this conference was mostly middle-aged, affluent, white participants. One of the speakers in the sessions about science policy pointed out – we need to have conversations with people who don’t look like us, but will be impacted by the research and the investment. These people (and their representation in some form of civil society, youth organisations etc.) were missing in the rooms.

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A second reflection is that the conference provided a perfect parable for the problem of not involving research participants in the process, and using (a form of) algorithmic governance. On the second day, around lunchtime, the access to the first floor where a lot of sessions were held was blocked by the staff on site. Announcements asking people that finished upstairs to leave the place to allow others to go were made, however, the rooms were actually not full, nor the outside area.

So what was going on? this is what it looked like: the side is post-industrial and there are restrictions on how many people can be at each area for safety purposes, and the conference had to monitor it. The way they decided to do it is by stewards scanning the QR codes on participants badges. However, the scanning was done without an explanation why it was done and how it is linked to safety, so it felt like you’re being scanned when you get into a room, when you leave it, when you go upstairs, and when you go downstairs. Now (some) scientists are very happy to devise methods to monitor and analyse the movement of big crowds but don’t feel that it applies to them, and it did feel intrusive. So my guess is that by around lunchtime, there were plenty of ghost participants on the first floor – counted in, but not out – and no mechanism to adjust the calculation to the reality of not full rooms, and empty outside areas was in place. So no matter what reality said, the counting was indicating capacity and therefore stopping people and causing frustration. You can imagine that if, as you enter, the purpose of the data collection has been made clear to participants, the situation might be averted (and of course many other solutions are possible technically). It was strange to see how a mini example of bad science is impacting the conference itself!

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A third reflection is on the variety of how citizen science is understood in the policy circles, and how valuable it can be to have a clearer set of characteristics to help newcomers. e.g. this

It was also interesting to hear in the session about policy advice in a complex world one of the participant say “I’m a physicist, and I think that science can only be made by experts and it is going to change with the whole community participating, how do we going to give advice? Increase of the noise?”. There are multiple understanding and interpretation, and it was great to hear Karel Luyben in the Open Science session seeing a role for people outside academia not only in data collection but also in analysis and in using results of open science and more.

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The final point is something that I now calling the “deficit model bingo”. I’ve written before that the most common questions after introducing citizen science are about data quality, and then motivation. But I also realised lately that when I’m talking with people about a potential new project, the deficit model comes along quite regularly. If you’re not familiar with it, Wikipedia put it “the model attributes public scepticism or hostility to science and technology to a lack of understanding, resulting from a lack of information. It is associated with a division between experts who have the information and non-experts who do not. The model implies that communication should focus on improving the transfer of information from experts to non-experts.” At some point, the scientists will start setting out that what they need to do is to educate the public. What is especially odd about this is that there is no notion that the public continues to become more and more educated – just look at this graph from Eurostat . Some European countries have over 50% of the population with tertiary education. How much more education does this expert think we need to make people see the world the way that they see it?

So this is a thread that I put at the end, especially when there is an effort to work with policymakers, but I don’t see the same effort to create material that is suitable for a much wider range of stakeholders. For example, in scientific assessment there is a regular “summary for decision-makers”, but where is the “summary for educated public” or “summary for civil society organisation” etc.? For me, part of the issues that people face with acceptance of science is not because people are not educated – exactly the opposite. Filter bubble and other issues are important, and there are plenty of other mechanisms that impact people (it was great to hear talks about values, ideologies etc. as part of how people use scientific information, but it is interesting how fast scientists – even those who surely heard about the issue with the deficit model – default to it.

 

European Research & Innovation Days 2019

DSC_2012.JPGBetween 24-26 September, the European Commission Directorate-General for Research & Innovation run an event in Brussels, titled “European Research and Innovation Days”. This was a large scale event, with about 3900 participants, which served several purposes. With Horizon 2020 approaching to its end and Horizon Europe starting in about a year an a half, it provided an opportunity to have a large scale conversation about the changes in the direction of research that the new programme brings (with a move from silos of research areas to missions) and also to co-design and think about different aspects of research. The event was held in the Kanal Centre Pompidou in Brussels, which is an old Citroen garage and is a huge industrial space that still bears the signs of its previous use. The conference covered topics from the role of philanthropic foundations in shaping research directions, to the focus on support for SMEs. The general attendance in the conference was from research-focused organisations – both public and private. I hardly heard voices coming from civil society organisations that are outside the “research ecosystem”. Another aspect of the conference was to introduce the missions to the research community so they can start preparing to the new framework, while also getting feedback and comments from participants about the ways that they are shaping up. Sessions included reporters and online space for comments so the feedback could be gathered and shared by the commission staff. It was also an opportunity to share and celebrate research results.

Within the EU budget, research is something like 11% of the total budget. This is a significant sum (€13 billion), but it is an area that needs to continue and make the case to justify the investment. The EU R&I Days provided also the forum to highlight the wider policy issues of research investment – from balancing between excellence in research, with its inherent inequalities between countries in the strength of their science and engineering, versus efforts for widening involvement in science and considering the wider European Research Area (which goes well beyond the boundaries of the EU).

As part of the conference, I presented in two sessions, one dedicated to the pilar of “excellent science” and that was organised by the European Research Council with awardees at different stages of their careers and from different research area, as to highlight the value of scientists led research titled “Empowering scientists to dream the future – the ERC“, and the second was dedicated to “the promise of citizen science“. Interestingly, the first session was organised as a showcase without a dialogue – there were four presentations, without any space for Q&A. In contrast, the citizen science session included 30 minutes for dialogue and comments from the audience.

The ERC session included an address from the president of the ERC, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, and then a series of talks from an astrophysicist who was part of the Event Horizon effort to capture an image of a black hole; a plant scientist who work on genetically modifying plants to withstand drought (and raise the issue of making them politically acceptable to be used in Europe); and an Aerospace engineer who work on space debris. Our panel was a well-thought mix of gender balance, disciplines (natural science, social science, and engineering), countries and types of ERC grants (starting, consolidator, and advanced). You can watch the recording of the session here https://innodays.cdn01.rambla.be/player/?item_id=Wgx4p7 – my talk is at 24:20.

Following the talk, I gave a short interview which is below.

The second session included Rosa Arias who leads the D-Noses project, Carole Paleco who work with me on the DITOs project, and myself. The session covered how citizen science can contribute to research and to other societal aspects. You can see the session here https://innodays.cdn01.rambla.be/player/?item_id=AQzLb4 my talk is at 21:30 and my slides are below

 

 

Other interesting sessions that are worth watching are:

Open Science is the new normal, recorded here https://innodays.cdn01.rambla.be/player/?item_id=AKQRDm

Research and Innovation evidence: ingredient for better policy making 

Science advice to European Policy in a Complex World

 

 

Notes: Focus on Open Science, Madrid

Notes for the workshop  “Open Science by Design: Practical Commitments for Implementation by (Young) Universities – New Indicators — FAIR Data — Citizen Science” this is part of the series “Focus on Open Science” and took place at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid on 8th July 2019.

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The opening was provided by Prof. Juan José Vaquero. Vice-President of Scientific Policy. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. It is a relatively new university – 30 years old. There are networks of young universities in Europe. As a European university, they have to be an Open Science university – need the facilitate the systematic change of democratic and useful science that answer societal needs. They are following the LERU roadmap for culture change at the universities. They have a working group that works on the implementation of open science at the university. They see value in including in the workshop early career researchers so they learn about the integration of open science from the start.

Cecilia Cabello. Director of Open and International Science. FECYT (Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology). FECYT is 18 years in existence and act as an interface in as a science foundation. They strategic plan – increase the value of science – bringing science close to citizens, and increasing the value of open science. Citizens should appreciate science and participate in science – engaging in citizen science. The open science work on repositories, data, and dialogue with different actors across Spain that will make open science a reality: including the ministry, experts on legal issues, and links to the EC. It’s not an easy task – require national and international policy and need the laws and approaches from other places fit the Spanish context.

Dr. Tiberius Ignat. Director of Scientific Knowledge Services – this is the 17th workshop in the series across Europe. Open Science matters – there are two major concerns: nature, and society. Digital societies are becoming part of our life, and we have all sort of advantages – the costs of free. With the Surveillance Economy, we pay for free services by disclosing details on ourselves, and we are also manipulated with persuasive technologies. We need to provide a move to research integrity, to ensure that citizens are involved in shaping their future, to consider data, skills and education, scholarly communication, indicators and so on. There is a diversity of events across Europe. Open Science is not a big movement enough and needs to grow – we need a community for a chance to change something. There is also a LinkedIn group “Focus on Open Science”.

Dr Eva Méndez. Chair of the OSPP. Deputy vice-president for Research Policy. Open Science. UC3M. The focus on Open Science include 8 challenges, components or pillars – there is a need to consider the pillars that are not naturally linked: indicators, citizen science, and FAIR data. Between these pillars there are plenty of questions – should we assume all citizen science data be FAIR? Will the data provide indicators? etc.

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Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost University College London, UK: Leading the change to Open Science in European Universities. Using UCL and network to learn about open science. Also looking at the LERU road maps and learn about different aspects. The LERU road map talks about the 8 pillars of open science. Focus on Future of Scholarly Communication, the European Open Science Cloud, and about Rewards. The roadmap of LERU launched in June 2018 and includes 41 recommendations on what a university needs to do and was signed by the rectors of these universities. Some of these recommendations evolved at UCL – a highly research-active university, so publishing is the lifeblood of the universities. There are open access calls in Plan S and statements from LERU. While there is a critique of Plan S, there is no rejection of open access in general. LERU rectors agree that open access is the way to go – rather than the messy and expensive current model. In the wake of Plan S, there is a need to ensure that academics are aware of OA compliance requirements. There is an OAI11 workshop in Geneva report that can be useful. At UCL this move to a Green OA repositories that already working. UCL established an alternative platform in 2015 with monographs and then evolved into journals – following academics demands and needs. After discussions with different people, setting UCL Press was a way to assist – an area that might fall over – it’s expensive, the number of books that are being sold is very small. Published 106 monographs with 2m downloads in 231 countries. The books are also shared on JSTOR and help in the download figures. Some of the most downloaded books is an output from the ERC project of Danny Miller in Anthropology with 320k downloads. A research monograph sells 200 worldwide, and the arts and humanities are concerned about the change to this model – in contrast, open access demonstrates that monograph publishing is easy and are providing huge readership. The scholars who involved in monograph publishing might be against Plan S but for OA. Dublin City University is the first to buy white label services from UCL Press. All outputs are branded as Dublin City Univesity Press – the download figures won them over.

Other research areas that are covered in the pillars: in research data, there is free of access and use or restricted use. UCL established a research data repository where academics can deposit data that is useful for reuse and it was launched in May. Data that is not sensitive is shared on a system that is based on Figshare. Authors in UCL Press will be able to store their data in this repository. There is a need to provide the tools and services to support academics in the movement to open science.

Finally, there is a need to support rewards and evaluation to academics. The Plan S implementation – we need a large, significant and determined consensus on new ways to evaluate research and researchers (Bernard Rentier of the University of Liege). He identified 23 criteria for a rounded evaluate. In the traditional way people pointing to journals as a mark of quality and success. In the new evaluation, the publications are seen as part of many other measures that are being assessed. There is also the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and the Leiden Manifesto that are being assessed at UCL. We follow the approach that not use numerical factors – e.g. Impact Factor and reduce papers for assessment which are then read. Use bibliometrics only as an adjunct to qualitative assessment and base assessment on a qualitative evaluation of an individual. The open science principles are also included in the career frameworks for researchers. Open Science principles are integrated into the framework of the academic promotion – it was accepted by UCL academic board.

LERU is committed to Open Science and Open Access, but doubtful if Plan S implementation – need to manage the costs and how to avoid escalation of costs out of control. The mechanisms for subscriptions to publishing are yet to be structured so it can be manageable for research-intensive universities.

Open Science is good for researchers. UCL see it as an opportunity, not a threat.

 

dsc_1919.jpgDr Rebecca Lawrence, F1000: Shifting the research assessment system to enable the adoption of open knowledge practices. Rebecca is managing the F1000 research and other initiatives that provide open access platforms for funders. The need to shift the academic evaluation approach to support open science/research. We mean different things by it – the OSPP have a definition (Figure above). The main barriers for open research but it is incredibly challenging to move towards it. The primary focus of the evaluation is the final scholarly outputs, its venue of publication, and ingrained from research to the researchers, to the institution (how league tables are being calculated). There isn’t enough support at ground level – on awareness and understanding: why it is good for them and how. There is also a lack of skillset – e.g. how to make your data FAIR? This is at all levels of researchers career. There is a collective action problem among stakeholders. There is also a lack of infrastructure and funding – to share a wide range of outputs, capturing and integrating metadata, things like the institution, ORCID, etc. There is also a broad range of indicators which are not being used.

To overcome the barriers, we need policies that are conflicting between organisations and funders. We need to provide a clearer about OA in terms of implementation – we need policies that are linked to implementations. We need tools and infrastructure that make it easy for the research community to act in an open research way. Need to maximising reporting and minimise duplication of effort by metadata and interoperability between system – not loading and replicating reporting. We need training, and we need to rethink rewards and incentives – without changing these, we won’t see a move. DORA has over 500 organisations with 12,500 individuals – but not a lot of implementation. DORA started recording good practices. For example, CRUK focus their assessment to 3-5 research achievement that put publications only at the end – not only top publications. FWF also ask for 10 most scholarly/scientific achievement. NIH asks for a clearer bio-sketchers. The University Medical Center in Utrecht involve people from access career stages to establish criteria.

The Open Science Policy Platform includes different stakeholders and provided a recommendation for next-generation metrics and indicators – less about journal and impact factors, to promoting discussion about the quality of the publication and on all sort of outputs. They need to assess and experiment with the validity of new indicators. The ORCID ID is a way to identify researchers, and providing bio-sketches is an area that is being explored. Need to pay attention to reward for encouraging ECRs to move towards open access. Need to provide public and easily accessible information about what is changing to communicate it to researchers. We need to change careers view – not just the narrowing down towards professorship as the ultimate goal of a research career. Ther

Paul Wouters points out that indicator frameworks can lead to unintended consequents or “steering effect” and be careful of tokenistic changes, but a deeper culture change. There are three levels – the scientific system as a whole and infrastructure for this, thinking about organisations, and individuals. There are different tools boxes – open knowledge infrastructure, open knowledge capabilities, capturing open knowledge practices – qualitative and case-studies, and individual level.

The OSPP recommend OS coordinators – to share best practices, to help consistencies. There are starting in the Netherlands, Finland and Ireland. The Dutch example is setting a national platform and different activities.  There is a need for both top-down and bottom-up efforts in making a change to open science. The OSPP next steps are working with the implementation initiatives, and coordinate different pilots – at stakeholders, and institutional level, national level, and in domain specific. Need to help with open evaluation and share successes and failures.

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Dr Daniel Hook, Digital Science: The Ascent of Open Access. Digital Science is tool providers to enable things that universities need to manage aspects of open science and science in general. Digital Science done a study of the ascent of digital science https://www.digital-science.com/blog/news/the-ascent-of-open-access-report/ – they analysed the situation in 2000 – you see in open access the strength of US, UK, and Japan. With time, you can see different strategies of adopting open access. By 2016, we can see China went from nowhere to being number 2 in the world, and 3 in Open Access. The UK maintained its global position through open access. Assessing the volume of material that is open access, we see the impacts of change. About third of outputs are now OA in 16 years. We can also see a change in citations – 60% of publications that are closed received 52% citations. Open Access Internationally Collaborative research lead to very high (proportionally) citations. At institutional levels – UCL, Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial are the top in open access, and then there is consistent sets: bands of engagement. The cultural nature of it is quite open. In the Spanish system, there is more homogenous adoption of OA.

We need to consider that we need to consider designing reproducibility but in terms of location, shutter speed, and all sort of context. When you log in with ORCID on a lab experiment that can link to context. We can think about capturing context automatically. It. We need layers beyond a publication: layers of data, experiment design, ethical approval. The presentation of research is disaggregated – we will have all sort of other aspects – automated metadata of narrative, links to data, details of peer-review, machine-readable narratives and we can think about a shift from publications to about processes. This is demonstrated in the Dimensions system of Digital Science. Trust is significant – we need to communicate the data is not simplistic.

 

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Ghislain Onestas, Ex Libris: Putting the library at the heart of research Covering the cloud provision of the company. They are considering the Schonfeld (the scholarly kitchen) workflow of the scientific process. We need to navigate the complexity of the research process. This creates complexities for researchers (e.g. dealing with funders and their needs) to libraries (e.g. embargo) and the research office (compliance with Plan S). So they want to offer a system that will make this easier to do on the cloud (Esploro system.

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Prof. Barend Mons, Director for the Dutch International Support and Coordination Office GO FAIR and President of CODATA: The Internet for Social Machines. Fair > The Machine Knows what I Mean. The FAIR principles were noted – they seem complicated to many people, so FAIR is about helping machines know what I mean. The point is to make machines capable of helping humans and that is because of the growth in data volume (e.g. in biomedical research). We need of internet for social machines – and people and machines can work effectively together. Articles will start having a minor role  (e.g. the seven sins of open science). First, need to think of problems – data that can be used is “re-useless”. FAIR is not a standard – it’s a guiding principle. Open (is not “free as beer”) don’t mix up, and it is expensive – accessible under well-defined conditions. We also need to stop talking about AI and consider it as machine learning – mostly stupid staff. We need to consider stewardship. We need to think about the use of the data for years to come beyond the research period. Data Sharing – instead of that we need to consider visiting – you don’t want to send petabyte, but to go and visit the data. The need for machine-readable data is “fully AI ready” – all about making life easy for machines. The FAIR started in 2014, and published in 2015 and GoFAIR initiative is developing the network under the FAIR principles – Internet of FAIR data and services IFDS. We need data (somewhere), tools (another place and compute ability (so the ability to take the tools, compute ability, and data that can be brought together. We can have distributed learning by VMs and it can learn things from subanalysis – we need a completely new approach for data and analysis. We need to be careful to manage data and metadata – we can record. Complexity is beyond human comprehension and across links between diabetes and Alzheimer and you can find quick links between research areas, filtering thousands of papers.

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Systems are evolving through a vision to the explosion, and then go through convergence – so is we have minimal standards, voluntary participation and critical mass. This way it can grow and develop a local version that suits local needs. The final collaboration is in Co-Data. There is a growing community of people who share tools and approaches and cross support, which mean the development of bottom-up standards and approaches. There is a growing investment in open data – pulling data infrastructure together will help. There is a need to be a system that supports research stewardships and digital competence centre in universities. Humanities also need to be included in FAIR and data stewardship problems are more complex across disciplines. Can consider the “digital twin” of any object – book, butterfly in GBIF etc. which asks questions. We loose 80% of the data within 2 years. We lose $10 billion a year because of the loss in access to data.

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Prof. Muki Haklay, Professor of Geographic Information Science at the Department of Geography, University College London (UCL): Citizen Science in Open Science context: measuring and understanding impacts of deeper public participation in science.

My talk started with an overview of citizen science in current practice. I’ve started by pointing to the rapid growth in recognition of citizen science in the past decade, and notice that even in the selective and conservative world of the type of publications that are indexed by Scopus we can see the rapid rise. The two critical trends behind it are the societal changes – an in particular rapid growth in higher education, and technological changes. I then progressed to review major citizen science activities, following the overview of Citizen Science for Earth Observations [5-15], using examples from France (Sauvages de ma rue), mentioning the Boinc effort of Ibercivis in Spain, and different H2020 projects – such as Geo-Wiki and its use in LandSense, or Odour Collect in D-NOSES. The next 3 slides [16-21] pointed to the way specific disciplinary practices and framing of scientific research play out in citizen science projects: from astrophysics to biomedicine and to geography and anthropology – each discipline shapes the projects that are called citizen science within its scope. We also end this part of the talk with a note to the different levels of participation [22]. The next part provides an overview of the policy and practice response [23-28] – the early response of the European Environment Agency, the creation of association at international levels and then at national levels, and the emergence of laws and regulations that explicitly mention citizen science. Following this, I’m pointing to the variety of practices in citizen science, and position it within the wider public engagement framework with the DITOs escalator while also pointing to the scale change in participation between different levels.

Based on this, I introduce the Austrian criteria for citizen science and explains what is wrong with it, and how it is unhelpful to evaluate the field [32]. I show that research demonstrates the multiple goals of citizen science and that each project will not fulfil all of them [33], that we learned about complex learning and creativity patterns [34], and that the logic model of a project like DITOs show complex paths for the public, policy makers, and scientists.  I then suggest how to progress carefully with evaluation, suggesting several potential models for funders to consider.

Summary of the day:

Need to consider a common alignment – the future and the direction of travel.

We have existing and emerging scientific publications, and information to modify and rewards systems and career progress.

Existing solutions to have research assets linked. There is a need for a change – but change implies efforts and can’t wait for “someone” to take action. Time is ripe to deal with a change – we’re asking for more money and we need it to be justified.

We need to move to multidisciplinarity – as expressed in the SDGs. We don’t have a system to address them.. need to more awareness dialogue, engagement and building trust. There is a need to build trust with researchers, funders, and the public. There is a need to create opportunities, provide better incentives, and lead to a change in culture.

The questions that were asked in the meeting are at https://app.sli.do/event/umcjyzql/live/questions

The Twitter stream https://twitter.com/search?q=%23os19mad&src=typed_query&f=live

 

Doing It Together Science (DITOs) final event talks (part 1)

This is a reblogging of the reporting from DITOs final event, which was blogged by Alice Sheppard (which I’ve edited, lightly):

Introduction to the day

Camille Pisani, the Director of RBINS praises numerous volunteers and collaborators who have worked together, and the way different activities have been aimed at reaching many different audiences. There have been many localised events, such as waste management or coastal environmental issues. What makes DITOs different in her views is the integrative approach to the multiple meanings of “citizen science”. Citizen science goes back a long way, but for some people it’s still a new thing, and we’re still in the process of reaching out, even with simple things like communication. At the other end of the scale are people who have been volunteering or experimenting in science outside the professional environment for a very long time. When Camille met Muki four or five years ago, she was extremely interested in the idea of the escalator model.

 

 

Muki Haklay is next on “The DITOs journey”. He starts with “the world needs more citizen science” and the DITOs video. The DITOs story started in the middle of 2013 with the launch of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA). As a fledgeling organisation, the question was how to get it going. In 2014, DITOs was set with a process in which UCL asked partners what they’d be interested in doing during the next few years, and design a project around these plans. They not only thought up the escalator, but also the thought of aiming at more bottom-up citizen science. UCL would lead, because ECSA was still building capacity and was not ready to lead a project. The initial bid was lost to Sparks, which was a wonderful project, but in 2015, a second call came out and in May 2016 DITOs began just after the 2016 ECSA conference. DITOs is very diverse, with a museum, NGOs, SMEs, universities, labs – a very diverse team with an original promise to run 500 events and engage 290,000 participants plus 1.3 million online. It was quite an ambitious target! Muki next mentions the “onion diagram”, which put UCL and ECSA at the centre with many activities and areas going on around them. The objectives included “deep public engagement”, a broad range of public activities, to strengthen ECSA, to do cross-European fertilisation and knowledge-sharing by way of a lot of interaction between the partners, and to reach out to excluded groups. Muki has rewritten the escalator model a few times to develop the ideas and have some exact numbers, such as precisely how many people in the UK are active in DIYBio, and how many watch Blue Planet or visit the science museum. Many more people “passively consume” science (such as the above activities) versus taking a more active role, such as recording birds in their garden. In many cases, people run out of time to do science, for example, while trying to support a family; the escalator allows people to move up and down according to their preference and ability. All the knowledge-sharing leads to project partners spending a great deal of time together, including in local citizen science such as visiting lakes or rivers, and all becoming friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linden Farrer from the European Commission DG RTD (the department that is responsible for research and innovation) is next – DG RTD chooses which projects to fund, or not fund through open calls. DITOs was funded out of a part of H2020 which is dedicated to bringing people and science together (Science with and for Society – SWAFS). The objectives are, of course, bringing science and society together, but also fostering more talent for science and pairing scientific excellence with social responsibility. This can involve co-creation of agendas and policies by several stakeholders – which is quite broad, with a wide range of activities, and maybe discussing results or doing science with citizens. DITOs got funding under a topic called “Pan-European public outreach”, with the aim of increasing public awareness of science and RRI. Now, 2/3 of the way through H2020, they are concentrating on increasing the impacts and effectiveness of the programme, focusing on fewer topics but more closely – and one of such topics is exploring and supporting citizen science (others include institutional change, gender equality, etc – there are still quite a few you can find if you google Citizen Science in SWafS!). Linden lets us know that the future of H2020 and SwafS very likely involves working directly with citizens and civil society organisations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next several presentations are results of DITOs by many of its staff, taking five minutes each, moderated by Margaret Gold.

Judy Barrett, UCL, on the escalator model
Extreme Citizen Science group conceived the idea of DITOs in 2014, with the idea that citizen science should be driven by local needs, practices and cultures. UCL has mostly focused on WP6, “coordination, support and management”, which surrounds all the other work packages (such as policy). We’ve also produced a study of business models of citizen science. Our outputs from WP6 is itself a DITOs legacy, because other projects will be able to use it. We carried out 90 events, which we’ll see more of later. We implemented a MOOC (massive open online course) which has now been operating for 2 years, which has been signed up to by about 1000 people, and is also part of MSc programmes at UCL. Our events are aimed at equipping people with tools to answer their own scientific questions. We’ve made our own escalator model as “the consortium journey” – for several of us, it was our first experience of interdisciplinary work, or citizen science, or many other topics. It was therefore vital to create a supportive, communicative environment, with practice-sharing and exchange of ideas being vital. Some staff of partners were scientists with little experience of citizen science. But many individual staff members felt they had personally grown. Individual highlights include a dedication to progress in citizen science, collaboration with experts, and multi-stakeholder engagement.

Gaia Agnello, ECSA, environmental sustainability
The aim was to introduce citizen scientists and policy makers on developing methods for involvement, bolstering networks, promoting knowledge exchange and events all over Europe. ECSA particularly established the European BioBlitz Network, facilitating best practice exchange between anyone who runs BioBlitzes. Three DITOs partners subsequently established their first BioBlitz. MediaLab Prado created “Interactivos” of discussions and workshops on different topics each year, such as sustainable mobility, food systems, waste management etc. Kersnikova organised the Sister’s Lab, promoting transdisciplinary activities and gender equality, empowering women to collaborate through teaching and learning. UCL ran all-age workshops on air quality, including teaching people how to make environmental monitoring devices. European Green Week last year included discussions of environmental citizen science’s impact on policy. Lessons learned include: balance your organisation’s mandate with the values of the poeple involved; care for participants; co-design events as much as possible – talking to people before designing events; make sure the project has been felt by communities as their own because this will increase impacts; and take care of your team and yourself!

 

Imane Baiz, CRI-Paris, UPD and BioDesign
WP1 is Biodesign, which even the project leaders found a mysterious word at the beginning! It may mean art, or integrating buildings into the ecosystem, or synthetic biology (including the tools and methods). It connects people – for example, scientists with artists. It is interdisciplinary. It also connects ideas, too. We had a total of 700 events, which involved a lot of travelling and creating exhibitions, and partners showing their work to each other, going into schools, designing the Science Bus. It can be about empowerment – designing a sustainable future, inspired by nature. There were also different notions from different people – for example of extensive travel, but in fact, it’s like a group of superheroes who are trying to make the world a better place.

Paweł Wyszomirski, Eco21/Meritum, air quality
Polish cities are suffering from serious air pollution, especially in autumn and winter. Eco21 began to work with policy makers. They were creating data, which they decided to use to empower people to do something about the pollution – which involved teaching people how to use numbers to make decisions. This also allows people to talk with others in their neighbourhoods. Membership of ECSA allowed Eco21 to be invited to an air quality workshop, to learn how to empower and engage people in citizen science and in being able to do something about poor air quality. Pawel hopes that many people will come and ask him about European Clean Air Day.

Carole Paleco, RBINS, the escalator model at the museum
A way that RBINS have tried to apply the escalator model is to evaluate their activities and events, and also trying to involve the citizens at an early stage. At a citizen science cafe, for example, the monitoring and evaluation of feedback from participants has led to being able to give the facilitator feedback each time. They have a small touring exhibition that goes to schools in the Brussels region. They’ve organised biodiversity workshops with volunteers. They asked participants what they would put on a “Z-Card” which would go out to schools to raise awareness of biodiversity. She gave a report on a Phasma Meeting at RBINS, and organised their first BioBlitz last year. It was very focused with five scientists. The XperiBird has given out nestboxes to schools so that the children can observe birds nesting and bringing up chicks.

Simon Gmajner, Kersnikova, Bridging the Gap
Kersnikova aims to bridge the gaps between scientists and artists, also with participants and events. There was no phrase for “citizen science” in Slovenian, so it was translated best as “participatory science”. They then decided to organise exhibitions which would spur discussions. They did a BioArt exhibition which included science cafes which deepened discussion and complimented the artists’ and scientists’ modes of engagement. They managed to host the author of a book on biotechnology. A problem they ran into was people asking “What is art and what is science here?” which they found they could not always answer! They wanted to build an ecosystem that would support itself, which involved training people in interdisciplinary matters. They have a biotechnology lab and also ran workshops on biorobotics and soil tasting! They also trained mentors, so that citizens who had been coming for a long time could teach newer people.

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Claudia Gobel, ECSA, Policy Engagement
DITOs has many public engagement activities, but also wants to talk to decision makers, which ECSA has focused on – at European, national and local levels. They’ve held 16 discovery trips, 17 stakeholder round tables, a pan-European policy forum and many more additional workshops and events. These took place in various countries. Policy briefs have come out of this, with a focus on open science and on responsible research and innovation. There is a diversity of voices in citizen science. It is very important to understand how citizen science is conceptualised and done – which is where the escalator was very important. There are different communities of practitioners. Citizen science needs cultural change and a plurality of voices, transparency, diversity, inclusiveness and these must be very important in our organisations. They also want to build more networks of stakeholders. Claudia also highlighted the citizen science book – if you’re here, please help yourself to a copy, or download it here.

Ted Fjallman, Tekiu UK, WP4 Policy Engagement
Across the project, we’ve managed to achieve 50% more events than we originally planned – DITOs has been very successful in the policy area, too. Tekiu is a for-profit organisation, though is not seeking to make a profit from DITOs. Ted observes that people are learning differently. He asked how many of us go to the cinema (nearly everyone); how many would be willing to pay what you’d pay for the cinema to attend a policy event? It was fewer people. Tekiu joined DITOs to understand how society is changing as a whole (which they cannot ask a single company). Discovery Trips are Tekiu’s brand; they take 10 to 25 people on a trip from one country to another to meet with their counterparts abroad so both parties can learn what the others do. Sometimes, participants may go on for example to join their city council. They plan to keep linking scientists with policymakers. They feel the future lies in active monitoring – we all have a phone, which has technology we wouldn’t have been able to imagine 30 years ago. It is, therefore, time to update the way we think.

Participants’ panel:
Cindy Regalado and Pawel Miedzinski from eutema moderating – Adam, Bernard, Roland, Mark, Pen-Yuan

Adam: Was part of Science has no Borders at UCL. Had a stall with an artist friend who collaborated on art and science of complexity. Attended film nights which included discussions of uneasy topics such as the history of eugenics. Attended Do It Together bio workshops, which taught him how to do simple biology experiments and procedures, use cutout microscopes, and learning about work at an aquarium and how to sample from the wild.
Bernard: Also worked with Rachel at the aquarium (as above), organised some workshops in Ireland with aerial kite mapping to which some environmentalist groups were invited; they hope to map their waterways in the future. They have also worked with young people from youth work in Ireland – they took some cameras which would otherwise have ended up in a landfill, and allowed young people to take the cameras apart to see what was inside them and convert them into near-infrared.
Roland – OpenWetLab evenings at Waag. His background is biology but he’s learning a lot of DIYbio and technology this way. Went to Kersnikova for a Bio-Art project and conference – all these were funded by DITOs; many participants in a Bio-Art movement came from around the world.
Mark – Was a Science Bus captain. Had already done a lot of outreach and engagement activities around Ireland. Science Bus involved travelling in a camper van around Europe collaborating with museums etc to work with the local public and get them engaged in workshops. The bus captains travelled together but didn’t always know each other beforehand! They taught the public how to carry out small DIY projects and gave them tools to investigate the world around them, also encouraging them to investigate and critique the world around them in this way. His favourite part was getting people interested who had never carried out scientific activities this way before. They were interested in the public’s life hacks and traditional remedies – how did people get information about what to do about (for example) what to do about bruises or mosquito bites when they didn’t engage much with science? A commonly stated solution was “urinate on it”!
Pen: worked with Cindy on delivering electronics workshops for the public, learning about open hardware and taking control over it and understand it. Has also worked with Cindy on DIY environmental sensing. He has also been investigating the nature of knowledge and creativity, such as creative commons licensing – how to creatively subvert copyright laws to share knowledge. He has, therefore, run many workshops in different places such as Italy, Scotland etc, and worked with hackerspaces. He has found that many people don’t know how to solder, so has used conductive thread.

Q: Has DITOs changed the way you do your work or practice?
Adam: Yes, now collaborates and gives talks, and works with many different people – DITOs was a big confidence-booster.
Bernard: Current role means diverting mattresses from landfill; quantifies work, work done manually – makes that work visible. Does mapping, community gardens, working with young people and getting them to understand the importance of data.
Roland: Has trained biohackers who then go on to train each other; has enjoyed watching skills spread. DITOs has personally influenced him to give workshops, feeling there is a mix between arts and science.
Mark: The Waag had the idea of the science bus; when he met them he felt they were wonderful but had a different way of thinking from how he would have carried out his work, so it taught him a new way of seeing things, which he felt was progressive. He applied these ideas to the science bus and his own work in Ireland. He returned to Ireland trying to find out how to engage the largest number of people possible – and has used the opening of Ireland’s new science centre to engage more people in citizen science and to see what they can do themselves.
Pen: Worked with a citizen scientist who built his own tools and developed his own methods for ecology – and discovered a population of deer near his village. This caught the attention of the local authorities, who built a protected area for the deer. Citizens do not just passively collect data. Science can make all of us become more engaged citizens.

Citizen Science 2019: Indigenous People on the Front Lines: Using Citizen Science to Improve Environmental Public Health

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The session “Indigenous People on the Front Lines: Using Citizen Science to Improve Environmental Public Health” was organised by Judith Zelikoff (NYU medicine), Kathleen Vandiver (MIT), Esther Erdei (University New Mexico / Missouri Breaks Industries Research Inc.), Shirley VanDunk (Ramapough Lenape Tribe)

Judith  – they are part of the NIEHS, and Esther is in the Native Environmental Health equity Center. Citizen science use to improve health. The speakers are Dona Chavis from NC climate justice collective and FoE. The panel includes Jacie Curnick from U of Iowa and Jeff Currie II from Lumbee Riverkeeper.

DSC_1557.JPGDona – a daughter of the Lumbee nation and recognised the original people who were here.  Come from an oral tradition, and can tell a lot of stories – adding “to moving beyond the historical trauma” to the title – according to Maria is the impact of the loss of possessions, people, and places on a group of people. The connection on citizen science is that the impact of the past cannot be separated from the current reality. Every day is on the front line because of the historical trauma and the current struggle. In NC, the native tribes in NC developed a distrust and have been studied “to death” – even anthropologists checking hair, circumferences of heads etc. People were told that they have to participate in studies by the government. Because of that Citizen Science is a foreign concept. For her people, the relationships to water is critical, e.g. the area is a wetland and colonisation happened only in the mid 19th century. The area has a history of hiding – swampland was a place to live: food, medicine, clothing. The colonisation causes these to disappear. Now she’s working in the environmental NGO sector: suffering from CAFO, coal ash, trees are being cut down, and a gas pipeline. There are impacts from hurricanes. In Robertson County, Hurricane Mathew in 2016 and Florence in 2018, the last was massive and it covered and flooded the whole county. They still have elders who remember the pathways of the water, so the discussion on how to revive the waterway, and they realise that they had a traditional knowledge that can be used to address climate change. With Chapel Hill, they put a grant to monitor the water in the area – it moves forward in a way that includes the concerns and understanding of the community. It provided a way that matches community practice of starting the meeting at the community rate and the scientists were respectful of the community. Now they have the first baseline for the community on the impact of storms and what may be found and what should be done about it. Some methods are traditional, but they can be integrated. A big lesson is that inclusion has to start in the planning stage. Information should be released according to when, what, and how it is to be released.

Kathy Vandiver – a citizen science Passamaquoddy environmental dept. The study was done where the communities were highly involved, pleased with the results, high calibre research and sampling by citizen scientists and community input with a report back. Create a professional pipeline that was improved, and the literacy of the public regarding environmental health was improved. This started with the interest of masters students from civil and environmental engineering. The results – engagement of 22% of the population, 145 wells that tested for arsenic. The students (Abby and Tchelet) used a water sample for standing and running water samples from the faucet at home, checking for led, arsenic and so on. The kits were collected in the community offices – an early workshop didn’t work well, and the students delivered flyer. The results were useful as 26% were above the acceptable level and well owners were given advice on arsenic filters. There was an important aspect of improving the professional pipeline with the tribal environmental dept member who helped in the analysis.  The Passamaquoddy stayed on campus. The Masters engineering students learn how to run the meetings, and the project was also for the community to learn about EPA rules and the health effects of contaminants in the water. Helping to explain to people how to interpret the results. Students learned how to talk with the public, and also created a capacity for tribal members.

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Judith Zelilkoff – empowerment of the Ramapough Nationa – a toxic legacy moved to action. Native Americans have a shorter life expectancy by 4.4 years and that is because they are exposed disproportionately to nuclear test sites, uranium mines, power plants, toxic was. 25% of Superfund sites are in Indian country. For 75% in 2013 didn’t have safe water to drink and then there are 61% of air pollution sources. The Ramapough Lenape – the tribal chief came to NYU and they are in New Jersy that are in a Superfund site where the nation lives, 50 miles from NYC. The tribal nation, there were iron mines in their area. In the 1960s, a Ford subsidiary disposed of paint sludge and car parts in the unused mines – with lead paint and for 10 years disposing of paint waste and electronic waste. The result is a 500-acre superfund site. In the area of Ringwood in 1970 they put tarpaulin over the waste, and high level of iron and other pollutants in the area and Ramapough made a lawsuit and got very little to the community. in 2013, statistically, there is an impact of the pollution with diseases, there increase in asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure. People have a lot of concern – they are scared of eating from the garden, can’t use the land, can’t fish and game. Done focus groups and studies on what they can do for them – concerns about water quality was high and they’ve worked together to have and collected water collection that was done by community members with help from graduate students. Tests for lead in the water was done by community members and other contaminants. They used community relevant test kits. Also some trace and toxic metals. In reporting back, they recommended not to fish in a specific area (Sallys Pond) and the chief was involved as a facilitator. Slides are reviewed by community members. Summary: restoring dignity and ownership over their community; prioritise a community research agenda, and change public policy. They back up community concerns with evidence and science.

DSC_1565.JPGEsther Erdie, work in Southeastern USA – 90% Native American are populating the area. There are 3% of the US population are native, there are 573 federally recognised tribes in 36 states. The Navajo Nation has 300,00 people. In 2004 there was recognition that environmental health is needed for tribal land-based cultures. The relationship to the land is very different from urban cultures, and lack of culturally-centred primary research. In 2015 there was a Mine Release in 2015 that impact a large area in Gold King Mine. There are over 4000 uranium mines, so big issue. There is a legacy of the extraction industry that leads to environmental injustice in the south-west US, there are airborne nanomaterial metals (U, V, Si), and lung exposure pathways because it’s an open cast mine. The Navajo nation when examined in 2010, showed 21% high level of Uranium in them. The citizen science goes to 1972 there were discharges and in 1979 tailing spill. There are problems lead to the sampling of radiation from 2002. In Church Rock uranium mine they took samples by community members who act as citizen scientists and identify 376 water source that is exceeding regulated level in 2011. There are problems in different sites and created a traffic light system to indicate how the water can be used. The issue is how the community want to use the information, the Navajo nation is focusing on the creation of a medical school and use the science to address issues. Education is important and needs to integrate traditional ways of thinking and considering issues.

DSC_1568.JPGJefferson Currie II from the Lumbee in North Carolina, and is a riverkeeper. The job is about citizen science, he comes from community background and the watershed that he deals with are brownfields, Swine and poultry CAFO, coal ash, oil and gas pipelines, etc. The approach that he takes is that he continues to talk with community members, and get information. His job is to stop pollution and hold people to account for it. They had a huge increase in poultry operations and there is a problem of not letting the operations growing. People say that the water becomes brown because of the swine CAFO and that is a way to identify violations. Floods – people who are older can explain things on how they are happening. They get reports on flooding that can be caused by solar farm and can local knowledge can work.

Judith – citizen science includes citizens and citizens. There are no short projects with communities and the Ramapough project is one that requires long term commitment and there is a long term commitment.

Dona – the distrust is when there is extractive knowledge an element of academia that is linked to funding, which researchers refuse to help because of funding. There are concerns about contaminations that require long term engagement. Beyond the funding, there will be leaders and people in the community that will continue to carry out the work. Consider other exchange – time, food and more. Need to maintain relationships.

Language – Judith went to learn the language, but there is wide use of English. In Esther case, 30% only speak Navajo and working with the community requires to have community members that are a local speaker, for example, there is a need to have female community researchers because of matriarchal structures. There are Native American that are becoming scientists. Dona – there is also a need to talk about the cultural language, not only the verbal language.

Vi – for true community based participatory research in different communities, ask them what is their area of concerns and help them to design the research and make sure that it is their data. Native American can tell their own stories and their own knowledge. Need to consider. Judith – there can be an interaction, that includes people who with an agreement that they will be the voice of the community.

There are panels that need to be considering the inclusion of different groups, such as black communities is needed to be included from the start of processes and be represented by themselves.

The suggestion of developing long terms relationships with community

Consortia of native academics who are building protocols with native communities to maintain knowledge by the communities of people that integrate traditional and scientific knowledge in themselves. The native academics didn’t experience disconnect – maybe the language and jargon, but there is a need to start with the people first and then it is how the relationship is being built. Native academics are fostering. In terms of self-determination – concepts of Free, Prior and Informed Consent is central. Bottom determinant.

 

Citizen Science 2019: Ethical Considerations in Funded Citizen Science: Implications for Broader Impacts

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The session Ethical Considerations in Funded Citizen Science: Implications for Broader Impacts, organise by Jacqueline Vadjunec (NSF), Fay Cobb Payton (NSF), Todd Kuiken (NC State University), Lisa Rasmussen (UNC Charlotte), Brenda Wilson Evon Connally (UNC Charlotte), Stacy Lynn (CitSci.org), Caren Cooper (NCSU), John Parker (NSF)
The Jacquie is in the Geography division of NSF, and the goals are the challenges in democratising funding and discuss institutional mechanisms to support citizen science. Citizen science is funded in different ways and it included scientists and citizen scientists that are involved in NSF projects.

NSF mission is to promote the progress of science and the budget is about $7b, promoting thousands of projects mostly 3 years. Funding basic knowledge that can be generalisable. The intellectual merit and broader impacts are both important. Broadening participation of underrepresented STEM groups came from work in 2008 and now have the includes programme. Creating people where everyone has an opportunity for a career in STEM – dealing with geography, gender, ethnicity etc. There are about 150 projects that are being funded to 225 at any given moment. Citizen science has intellectual merit – theory of citizen science, or broader impact – engaging new groups.

Omega Willson – in NC and 45 miles west of Raleigh and have been doing 25 years where they work on citizen science and started to engage 2 years ago. The relationship with the CSA is to diversify the conference through a sub-committee of the conference that paid attention to it which was in the panel yesterday. 60 scholarship for community organisations to bring people to the conference and increase representation. There are issues of labelling of community research and the process of networking will help in labelling and a way to increase support.

Fay – in the division of computer network systems, and they are funding a big chunk of projects and they are not under the label of citizen science. In the division, there is an effort of increasing participation in computing engineering – e.g. AI, smart cities, etc. They defined broadening participation very broadly – lots of identity markers to bring people into the portfolio. It is about equitable engagement – in the community, by the community. A process and a measurement effort. What does it mean to inform the PI and what should be done. Part of it is to understand the review process and they include criteria for broadening participation in their panel: less about diversity and more about inclusion. Cultural and organisational change in the NSF, e.g. in large grant call. Also involved in NSF Includes and it is more nuanced in its criteria and the ethical issues are embedded – working with community partners etc require to define shared goals, vision, how to sustained the efforts and how it is measured. How to evidence it.

Todd – part of the DIY Bio community and funding community biotech labs, and try to raise some of the issues with such grants. Applied for community biotech for the Baltimore centre that is at the forefront of engagement – inner city and touching underrepresented community. The review was very positive, but one of the issues was that no partnership with a university was too high (e.g. BUDD) and concerns about bio-safety and biosecurity. An organisation that is very small it is very difficult to get into but they are the places where innovation in Includes happened and creating STEM opportunities. The Wilson Center couldn’t pass the criteria of NSF, which a small organisation that run by volunteers cannot pass this hurdle. Partnering with universities means losing lots of money. Money in the crowdsourcing area have a particular opportunity to raise a significant amount of money and what are the ethics of funding projects and how to avoid selling false hopes, or what about the data that come from such a study that it wasn’t coming from the same place.

Stacy  – CitSci.org was created in 2007 and it engaged broad participation in research anywhere, with access to technology. The system is about “helping you to do great science” and it is defined very broadly. Through conversation with potential users, decided that it’s not their job is to police participation or projects, but they need to create a platform that will allow people to make decisions about their projects and their ethics (in the new issue of CSTP). The project manager can decide who can participate in the project – from open completely to selected individuals. Openness decision about the data is also for each project because of privacy, or endangered animals. To make it available to most users, governance is done by people who know their project. The NSF funding came from multiple programmes. They’ve done business modelling and got funding as an infrastructure. Ethics is a complex issue and long engaged conversation about the choices.

Lisa – as a philosopher and teaching research ethics, and there are many places where research is done outside regulations and done a workshop on ethical issues in citizen science and it is a very complex problem. Citizen science and DIY bio can reimagine the way we govern research – research framework that was articulated in the 1970s and in IRB you don’t consider community harm, so broadening participation changes the way we engaged. At the moment there is a struggle exactly how to create a framework – possibly a philosophy of trust, and including ensuring data quality, trust with community members, and trust with the ethics. There are ethical worries: there are things that you might fall into, and nefarious people – the grandfather of Alt-science: separating good science from bad science.

Caren – discussed topics as Vespucci and it came up in citizen science projects and got interested in it. She now teaches ethics and makes the students grapple with ethics issues. Problems from her own projects – top-down projects with different funding and outcomes. The IRB oversight treats them as human-subject research. Sparrow Swap is about contaminant and it falls between NSF and NIH. There are issues with IRB and assuming participants are anonymous, but that will mean that we can’t acknowledge them! In Sound around Town, there is an issue of informed consent and everyone is open about it and need to get third-party consent to recording sound. In a new project about testing for lead pipes, they want to pass the responsibility to the participants to decide what will be shared and how. She also develops norms around data ethics. Good data also means that it was collected ethically.

Regarding sharing information – the participants decide which data should be shared and with whom. Omega – questions about race and racism in communities, and there were cases of professors sharing information with officials about names and not realising that they should respect other people. They had to get lawyers to force the researchers out of university for revealing details. They had to tell some researchers not to come to their area again. There is sometimes a need to use lawyers and a legal settlement with research institutions. The moral issue needs to be addressed.

Regarding issues of data – Stacy working with communities in East Africa and the data need protection, and with CitSci.rog there is a need to co-create protocol for doing projects to work through a series of questions: is it for people, and providing tools and procedures. If you work with communities, have you consulted the community about it. Pre and post work checking to inform the decision making. Fay – skipping a level, the implications of sharing are overlooked – data literacy and implication. Lead pipes are one thing, but there can be an impact on education funding for the area due to a drop in house prices. What are the implications and making the decision require an understanding of the lived experience? We have to consider the implications. Even with contributory projects, there aren’t communities and it interacts with individuals and if there isn’t a framework or organisation that addresses community consent.

Issues of community harm perspectives in terms of reviewing the ethics is always done at the individual and not with groups. In crowdfunding and crowdsourcing – there are side effects: figuring out the person that collected the data, addressing groups and not individuals. Crowdfunding might be completely outside the control of institutions. There will be a potential that lots of research will be outside the IRB regulation, and Lisa says that the CSA need to put structures in place. Tom – there is a risk that data will not be available for use by researchers in the universities. Todd – the DIY Bio community have its own code of ethics that was created bottom up, and in iGEM there is an effort to educate people in the competition to consider ethical and societal aspects. Universities should be educating students about ethical issues. John – However, there are different ethical codes for DIY Bio between US/Europe which indicates the cultural difference, so need to have both a top-down approach for responsibility and some role for institutional oversight. Omega – we need to discuss issues of the legal framework.

Fay – there are specific ethical guidelines (e.g. from ACM), and the citizen science and inclusiveness are included with the general way in which the field operates. There is a call about starting to teach computer scientists to understand the implications of technological development and ethics. Stacy – teaching all undergraduate students in the ethics of their work, and starting early. Caren – the citizen science approach might cause us to rethink frameworks that we have, such human subject research. We might need a poly-centric framework for oversight. Fay – the issues of collectivism and individualism are coming to the fore in citizen science. Ellen – because the NSF is spending federal money, they need to stand certain standards to get through a Federal Audit and that blocks organisations.

Citizen Science 2019: Designing technology to maximize cultural diversity, uptake, and outcomes of citizen science

 

DSCN3339This blog post was written by Michelle Neil of ACSA with edits by me (yay! collaborative note taking!) (apologies for getting names wrong!) 

The session was structured in the following way: first, each person presented their issue, and then they answer questions that were presented by other panel members. The questions that we managed to get through are:1)  What changes have you made to your design in order to be more inclusive or reach out to people beyond your “usual suspects”?

2)  How can we promote stronger partnerships between HCI/UX design & citizen science in order to produce technology that encourages inclusion?

3)  How do we begin to engage communities in the design of technologies and technology-based learning experiences, particularly within diverse communities and with diverse participants?

The session was organised by Jessie Oliver (Queensland University of Technology)Jessie’s research in about engaging people with acoustic citizen science particularly birders.  what are the barriers and challenges about looking at acoustics?

A1 What do people want to do? Be inside or outside? Musicians may be the key for acoustic citizen science more then birders.  Showed birders spectrographs of the bird sounds and they are not interested – they want to see birds!

A2 get it recognised as something that is worth looking at. Then keep diversifying. Then ask more / different groups.

Jonathan Brier (University of Maryland) Looking at how we do the science of citizen science and bug people about security and privacy. working on national portals of citizen science. interested in what we do on larger systems and how they change.
A1 Site needs to be compliant so people of all abilities need to be working

Q2 ask.  Go to the uni students! Also, go to the lowest level of technology.

Muki Haklay (University College London) in the context here, focus on research with non-literate groups on data collection and analysis but highlighting how paper-based prototyping in the field (including a chicken that walks on the prototypes) can help in effective design. Namibia - Map Visualisation Session2_Moment2
A1 how do we include train-spotters in citizen science? why?  Plane spotters used to be mocked until a database was needed about illegal planes….. the moment you start thinking about not your regular community but those that are more detail-oriented then we have inbuilt citizen scientists.

Q2 how he started in HCI – got into the area without knowledge from undergraduate computer science studies, so only learned it during PhD (with the help of Angela Sasse at UCL), and therefore know that need to collaborate with mainstream HCI experts on different projects, or working with MSc students.

Jenny Preece (University of Maryland) interest in citizen science on biodiversity of data collection.  Book  – Interaction Design that will come out soon in 5th edition and include 5 citizen science case studies.
Citizen science and human-computer interaction are both interested in humans. cit sci wants people to participate while HCI wants to see how people interact.

A1.  Don’t ask people to give you their design ideas. They don’t know what they are or they are scared to do so. Need to ask it differently

A2.  After hurricane Katrina libraries were a huge sanctuary so most people went to libraries to give people a centre of focus with a community and talking to the outside world.

Tamara Clegg (University of Maryland) new to citizen science. try to help people scient-ize in their everyday lives through designing technology and make learning experiences. NatureNet project is trying to reach communities that are underrepresented to do projects that better sustain their communities by using technologies.

A1. Titles can alienate people. come and help us make our technology better works better. Make it practical and relevant and communicable.

A2 Used HCI undergraduates as part of their assignment to do usability studies on tech as part of their degree. Also created the standards in accessibility. Have more conversations.  Also, (questions from the audience about hurricane Katrina aftereffects) equity social justice as started to take shape in the community.
Grant Miller (University of Oxford – Zooniverse)  Helped build over 100 citizen science projects in citizen science. engaged over 2 million people so far. PenguinWatch. The barrier to entry couldn’t be lower. Remove the barrier or get it as low as humanly possible.  Provide pathways for deeper engagement and connect with researchers. use plain language increases engagement.

A1 volunteer translation app in zooniverse so anyone can do projects.  Don’t ever ask anyone to be a citizen scientist on your project! Keep the barrier to entry as low as possible.

A2 ask for people who do have broadband to help those who don’t. e.g. directing first responders to help those who are in trouble from the other side of the world.

FROM THE FLOOR

Andrew Robinson

A1 If people were recording pokemon go but actually doing biodiversity that would be huge! We went for gamers with questagame. we are taking them outdoors. its an example of a non-traditional citizen scientist.<

Maryan Misouri

A1 Ended up working with people who were blind. very challenging. took more time, differently set up.

A2 Petra (Barcelona).  Explore hackerspaces, makerspeaces etc.

A2  Take a more basic approach. 80 rural counties in NC where broadband is not even accessible. Primarily done via telephone line so can’t assume good data transfer. Most affected people don’t have broadband. how do you do citizen science when you don’t have broadband? or you’ve had a hurricane?

Muki answer:  there are persistent digital divides. In some low-income communities, they leave school at 16 years old and don’t touch a computer. Have to re-learn after 5 years how the technology works again due to advances in interface design so don’t assume that everyone knows how to use computers. Need to look at south-north innovations – e.g. Ushahidi Brck.  local-mesh networks. .

Jennifer shorts-valler (?)

no communication. Recently taken over a Citizen Science project. How do we make it the best it can be? HCI folks were not on the radar. How do we connect the researchers and the HCI together? (Jessie to connect)

Daniel Powell uni of Maryland

Undergrads want to make an app for everything. what else is out there? Who else do we go to? How do we find these partnerships?

Muki – consider an empathy project. force student to deposit smartphones and use a function phone for a week.  In my field, there is a problem that most people don’t know how to read maps but the people in GIS think that everyone can read them. Issues of empathy between communities and those that design tech for them. Latest technology gets you into the top conferences but you can innovate on the function form. Get the empathy in.

Jessie created workshops and paid to bring citizen scientists plus brought in HCI people to co-create and was very fruitful

Jenny suggested developing an INTERACTIONS article and something similar with citizen science journal

Mark Handrichaw uni Ottowa

timing of the relationships and partnerships. need to have everyone together at the start. so you don’t go down rabbit holes.

yourong veee uni Washington

we are the best people to understand the users not the web designers. a difference of the partnership.

JESSIE: partnership doesnt exlude money.

Grant: get ownership and buy-in so get them interested (designers etc) treat them in the same way as volunteers but pay them.

Julie Sheerd Natural history of Denmark

Asking people to do an experiment and ask them to fill into a database. most said too hard and filled in the hard copy sheet instead. what about all these places online.  need an advocator in each country.

Jessie: need someone paid to collate and enter data. Privacy issues. need to make a clearinghouse that we can all use.

Tammy: the challenge in entering information into computers is a common one. If you are with family it is always easier to do something on a paper rather than entering onto the phone.

Vinny vandee design laboratory of san Diego

know the best practices but not everyone does. need a basic tutorial which describes<

JONATHAN we could add these ideas and FAQ on the associations’ websiteGuidelines are only general. number rof different guidelines.  A question of people being able to find it. Needs to be customisable to the community.

Ortez  (?)

wants to create a game that is super connected but it is super expensive. Paris has BirdLab. Costs $50k Euros. I don’t know how to find the money. How do you find the money? (Talk to Andrew from Questagame or Zooniverse but depends on what type of engagement you want).  Do you want it to actually be a game? explore all possibilities.

Can use the principles from community engagement of going where people are – in physical space but also online. need to go to where people are. the example is #RimFire01 observation spot on the way to Yosemite . Check the hashtag #Rimfire01

Using twitter or facebook (Andrew) we have a tendency that our motivations are everyone else. What motivates citizen scientists? Financial? gamers? Repercussions of using twitter and facebook for citizen science. A lot of people aren’t aware of this”

Sydney

Flip the conversation. Citizen science work is getting kids outside. How do we include audiences who are disabled / too scared to go outside involved? how can we do it in a way that brings everyone in?

Brian Brown at Standford (TAMMY) – VR – count the healthy options in the community.

JOHNATHAN: Google hangouts used to engage others who can’t get there.

ALICE SHEPPARD:  Potential for soundscapes in citizen science. SoundScape, Project Soothe. Have you heard this bird?

HUSH City app.

MICHELLE _ sometimes HUSHCity app is used by parents who have kids who can’t handle loud noises. motivations.<

TAMMY’s QUESTION<

How do we engage?

MUKI starts from failure.  Coming into the area long after there were racial tensions. Somalis were not included and realised that at the end of the project. Needed to check the gov census first before you go into an area. Passive inclusiveness vs assertive inclusiveness.

GRANT; try to realise that your failing at it. Go and talk to diverse communities. Sitting with 6 blokes in Oxford asking the question means you haven’t started right.< VINNET PANDEY: Anytime I go into a formal meeting and pitch my project I went first into a kombuchaHUSH workshop. made friends. got into the community. JENNY:  be prepared to be very persistent and just keep trying. Ideally,  spend 1 to 2 years with a community so I know them really well before writing the grant proposal TAMMY:  Best one yet has been with my church. JESSIE:  buy-in is so important. started as a participant observer. So thrilled when I realised that they valued my work. FIND THE RIGHT PERSON IS TO GO IN AND WHO THEY HAVE TO SEE> DO THE RESEARCH!

FINANCIAL

Need to trick the organisation to get money? Include funds in your budget for community involvement / interns.