Communities of practice of citizen science – workshops, meetings, and conferences

It’s now about two months since the intensive 10 days at the beginning of June, which included attending the workshop Science and Dissent, the ECSA conference, the follow-up COST Action on citizen science meeting, and the Ecsite conference. Shortly after, I  attended the UNECE 22nd Working Group of Parties to the Aarhus Convention. June ended with a long meeting of the Doing It Together Science consortium to plan the last year of the project. Participating in so many meetings is an overwhelming experience, which takes time to process and reflect on. But a promise for the OPENER project for a reflection that is relevant to the topic of the project – the idea of a community of practice around public engagement and in particular environmental citizen science – provide a reason to consider “what kind of a community of practice was demonstrated in each event?“. I’m not trying to compose here an insight on the nature of communities of practice but just a description of where things are right now.

A Community of Practice (CoP) is “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” and the different formats of the meetings provided the physical space and temporal co-location for people to come together.

The meetings are of very different sizes: from the over thousand participants in Ecsite, to the 15 or so participants in DITOs meeting. Those different sizes lead to different possible interactions and linking up with people, but in each case, it wasn’t only a single CoP in action, and that becomes clearer with the growth in size since people come together. The COST action meeting, although bring about 150 people, was very distributed, with each working group (where people with similar interest discuss their research) talking in their room with only short interactions with other people during coffee breaks.

All these meetings brought together people with a shared interest in citizen science to some degree and in different ways. In “Science and Dissent”, it was historians of science who are researching citizen science, while in ECSA conference, a lot of people who research and organise citizen science projects came together. Ecsite conference focus on science centres and science museums, so only some of the people there have a strong interest in citizen science (I’d guess that about 100 to 200 were interested in “Citizen Science on Trial“). There were overlaps between the people that participated in this series of events, but the “Ven diagram” of participation across them, end up being fairly small. I see that as evidence that while the interest in citizen science is reaching different groups and CoP, the number of people that cross boundaries between them is small.

Another question is the equity in participation. What was especially interesting is to see that the communities of the COST Action and ECSA conference do not completely overlap, but that might be the results of the costs, affordability, and length of travel. The ECSA conference requires people to book travel, hotel, and conference, while COST covers the costs of travel. This brings to the fore questions about resources (in time and in money) that shape the interactions within a CoP – for example, in participating in ECSA AGM and voting on specific decisions.

Finally, it is also interesting to see how different modalities of formalism and practices play out in each meeting, with the UNECE meeting, naturally, being at the formal end – and yet, you could see that some people in the room have been working together for a very long time and are a very tight CoP on public access to environmental information; to the ECSA conference, which is fairly open, but developing new ways of working and agreeing on common issues, where there is familiarity, but as a relatively young organisation, there are many newcomers.

Finally, it is also worth noting that amongst the meeting, there was also a launch of three CoPs that are dedicated to citizen observatories as part of the WeObserve project.

 

 

 

 

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Developing mobile applications for environmental and biodiversity citizen science: considerations and recommendations

The first outcome of the December 2016 workshop on apps, platforms, and portals for citizen science projects was the open access paper “Defining principles for mobile apps and platforms development in citizen science“, which came out in October 2017.

Lunaetal2018Fig3.pngThe workshop, which was organised by Soledad Luna and Ulrike Sturm from the Berlin Museum for Natural History, has led to a second output – a chapter in the book Multimedia Tools and Applications for Environmental & Biodiversity InformaticsThe invitation for contributions came at the right time with the first workshop in December 2016. The Chapter was completed in August 2017 and finally came out at the beginning of the month. A year from submission to getting it in press, which is fairly common in academic publications.

The chapter is different from the journal article, in providing more detailed examples of applications, and summarising aspects of systems in use and data standards that can be applied.

The abstract of the paper is:

The functionality available on modern ‘smartphone’ mobile devices, along with mobile application software and access to the mobile web, have opened up a wide range of ways for volunteers to participate in environmental and biodiversity research by contributing wildlife and environmental observations, geospatial information, and other context-specific and time-bound data. This has brought about an increasing number of mobile phone based citizen science projects that are designed to access these device features (such as the camera, the microphone, and GPS location data), as well as to reach different user groups, over different project durations, and with different aims and goals. In this chapter we outline a number of key considerations when designing and developing mobile applications for citizen science, with regard to (1) interoperability and data standards, (2) participant centred design and agile development, (3) user interface & user experience design, and (4) motivational factors for participation.

The chapter can be accessed using the following link Luna et al 2018 Developing mobile applications for citizen science – enjoy reading!

 

Justice and the Digital symposium notes

The Digital Geographies Research Group of the RGS-IBG held the annual symposium at the University of Sheffield, under the theme “Justice and the Digital”. These are partial notes from the day

The symposium opening session focus on the important question “What’s Justice got to do with it?”

DSC_0956Jeremy Crampton covered three issues – practices of surveillance in the context of smart cities. Surveillance is seen as an Orwellian term, and a problematic term – for one thing, it does not affect everyone in the same way – for example, argument that ongoing camera used by police reducing complaints about police actions (though we can figure out the complexities); secondly, the increased use of AI and facial recognition, and finally, surveillance rely on recialised/biased approach to societal ordering. This can be understood and explored through database ethnographies.

The second point is the way in which digital services are being delivered (e.g. Amazon) and they are similar to Red Lining practices from the mid 20th century.

The final demonstration of the complexities is the competition from the government in the UK between universities to use technology to increase transparency and inclusion. If you don’t address structural problems, the technology is not the solution.

The challenge is to induce transformations and not just accept views.

 

 

 

Emily Tomkys Valteri (OXFAM) – looking at digital inequalities – the past 50 years we have seen major digitisation and fusing of digital and physical with transformation to the fourth industrial revolution and the narrative of acceleration by showing how long it takes to reach 50 million users for a technology  – from 50 years to few days. Existing technologies are used in new ways. We see self-mobilisation – e.g. #MeToo or #IWillGoOut for women in India. Social media raise awareness to campaign and add additional pressure. Digital cash provides support to people to access markets – in Kirkuk electronic vouchers are safer than cash for women to use. There is also aspects of historical knowledge: education, where people who are displaced use to live, what they have done, and that is being used to support new opportunities. There are new opportunities and technologies have a potential to disrupt existing spaces.

But – there are issues of gender divide and women are less likely to own a mobile phone and even to use it. The phone is not in a neutral space. Design of technology – women hold 17% in tech jobs and therefore it is designed by men. MIT checked AI in facial recognition and demonstrated huge differences between the ability to identify light colour men and dark skin women. Technology and social media can be hijacked by the government to spread specific narrative – e.g. in India where the ID programme is blocking people from access to services and are being hurt, or Myanmar distributing false stories on the Rohingya minority.

People look at the promise of technology and rights and ethics later – blockchain is a good example. they might be useful in digital work, but we need to put the vulnerable people first. We need rights and standards first (from the @HHI_Signal diagram below)

 

Oxfam knows that they can’t confront the latest technology. We need a rights-based approach; second co-create and co-design and work with users and not for the users; we need to bridge the private and public sector.

James Richardson (The Good Things Foundation) – digital inclusion charity. Working in the UK, Kenya and Australia. The perspective is in terms of individuals using the system. Digital exclusion implies different things: Internet and the access to such systems (but it is possible to reach out through other means). There are personal circumstances that change the internet from usable to a lifeline. 4.5m people in the UK who are offline and many of them see themselves as absolutely fine without it. Patterns of usage are important – 6 hours a day or a month: it is important what they do and how. There is a linkage between usage online and offline. Higher social economic use digital to enhance their cultural capital. Lower levels more likely just to follow. Digital can increase inequality instead of reducing it.  Need a level playing field for content, Information literacy about the interval – depends on your source of information – also issues of specific bubbles. Digital self-efficacy is the ability to change things is locked by the end of schools, a third of learners who haven’t finished school find the learning and joining the digital difficult. Find the internet “not for people like me” – a serious injustice. Barriers that exist in social forces that influence life before school.

Dorothea Kleine – concluded with some reflections. First, conceptualise justice – which is a topic of over many millennia of discussion from Plato to Sen. Different concepts and types of justice: distributive, retributive, procedural, interactional, organisational, environmental and more… Need to notice the issue of representation (visual, voice), access (digital divide), usage opportunities, the way it change economic relations, the physical and material artefacts, the data, control, and co-production with the digital and how we extend them with digital tools, and how the digital plays in spaces of protest.

There’s a need to move from discussion of the global north to other areas and view of the digital from another area. In particular, the capabilities approach to development (Sen approach) – expanding the freedoms that people enjoy. What life people want to live and enjoy. Is the digital supporting the future that we want or hindering it? There are vast differences between countries and genders. There are also dimensions of just access and usage – availability, norms of use of time and space. There are many barriers for mobile phone use -family have a major influence on mobile phone use in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria – social norms influence digital spaces. We should also design for equity, in which we give marginalised people an advantage.

Discussion about academic collaboration: data on digital exclusion is a topic for research – OXFAM experienced the difficulties of preparing data for analysis, or Good Things experienced involvement in RCTs. There is a major churn in the field – when people don’t share information and leave the organisation, then starting to standardised surveys – come with best practice survey and in paper and data collection tools, so they should use it. There are issues about the design of technology and the way that it is applied – also outcomes structures. From universities perspective, the push to impact can allow for new collaboration and sometimes asking the tougher questions.

For the main part of the symposium, I’ve joined Strand 3: Justice and Global Digital Inequalities. 

I gave a talk about the concepts of passive and assertive inclusion, with citizen science as a demonstration of the complexities of inclusion.

[There were digital shorts – a short presentation on digital currencies and psych-social wellbeing of participants in ICT4D projects, LGBT+ use of tech in the development context – didn’t noted that part]

Further discussion was provided by Emily and James who discussed more their morning presentations:

Emily – following on – two things about inequalities: context matter and access is not enough. We need to consider the context. Adding something (technology) still happens within wider inequalities in society. Oxfam project check feedback mechanism, this is part of core humanitarian standards and request from funders – lots of time it’s a hotline and suggestion box with zero responses. The reason for the lack of use of the suggestion box is that the gang that control camp was monitoring it and there is also high illiteracy. So power dynamics in the group are huge and impacting. Gender is particularly complex and access will not be enough – confidence, a perception that people will be afraid to use it, potential harm. e.g. a potential link of increase domestic violence with women empowerment project. Quite often in ICT project – they are based on practical needs, e.g. living conditions such as radio broadcasts and SMS, but need to address underlying problems. In the digital identity in different cases, the potential for empowering women, in multiple cases male relatives got involved in the process – e.g. not a place for women to go to the registration centre. Issues of taking pictures, or a male agent touching a thumb of a woman in the process. Some exciting things happening – e.g. social media and messaging on violence against women, e.g. creating a safe space for discussion online and offline.

James – covering the funding model – digital is powerful but need context. How digital by default influence equality. The shared commitment of the organisation is the use of ICT to improve life – addressing loneliness, age, ethnic disadvantages. People who come to the centres have multiple problems – e.g. people with debt problem partially because of digital literacy issues. The people in the centres are acting like carers and addressing the problem regardless of what it is so not putting boundaries. The funding model of the organisation – they work from digital inclusion to general inclusion. Instead of projects, they get funding for a holistic inclusion help. Because of the austerity, there is a need to consider the mix of funding to keep the light on and similar issues – expectation that volunteers will take the slack and work for free. For example, the support in immigration issues that is done with ad-hoc translation by the local community member who speaks the language and English. The third sector and government should be involved in developing policy.

The Digital Shorts include:

Andrea Jimenez – how innovation and entrepreneurs help development – the language that is being used to argue that this is the routes for getting out of poverty. Looking at innovation hubs. Issues of justice – how entrepreneurship became a way to get out of poverty, and especially for women. You can’t entrepreneur a way out of a system. Also, Bird point about can’t fit women into a system that it is inherently male. Need alternative narratives that are using from the global south and how to look at innovation and entrepreneurship with a local view.

Hannah McCarrick – analysing the way that soil, ICT and smallholders in Tanzania interact. There is an e-agriculture to increase agricultural productivity. Examining the local knowledge of farmers and how it matches the knowledge in the ICT system. Tanzania is providing a good place to explore the relationships between.

Closing Panel: Justice and the Digital: What can geographers’ contribute?

Ayona Datta (King’s College London) – Smart Cities in Postcolonial Context. Justice and the digital in the context of urban transformation in India, and translation to gender experiences. A key aspect is not only spatial justice but also the notion of time justice, a history of pushing for empowerment and against the triple burden. Time poverty is important for women and the bigger smart cities – efficiency, more for less. Digital space is imposed top down. Societal norms are limiting the use and potential of digital products. There is a potential for using WhatsApp diary as a way to record it and mapping it on GIS. There is some visual crafting of narratives – some digital spaces are used in a manipulative way.

Muki Haklay (UCL) –  I explored the aspects of geographers, digital technologies, and environmental justice. The link in the area of environmental information started in the 1990s (with Aarhus and Principle 10) and there is an assumption of use of information and science in order to join decision-making process, which led to early use of ICT such as in Renee Sieber paper on Conforming (to) the oposition from around 2000, it is somewhat horrifying to see how scientification and use of technology now consume large areas of development and humanitarian support to communities in the UK and elsewhere. This actually gives us an opportunity to think about the way the digital impacting justice and environmental justice provides a space to see that over a longer period, with problems in the lack of provision of easy to use information that is understandable and usable. Geographers contribution is through abilities to move between domains and knowledge – the aspect of being an undisciplined discipline. There is an effort by geographers to build new systems to demonstrate that alternatives are possible, but there is also a certain futility and utility of digital interventions. Rethinking concepts of participation, and putting it in the context of scientification of society, and the way digital tools are influencing this process.

Sam Hind (University of Siegen) – the practice of process and demonstrations. Generally, don’t use the term justice, and more thinking about care and ethics. Look at justice through care in the study of geography from the past. Developing new care through a digital platform. 2007 AAG address, Silk “Caring at a distance” – use the example of large charity events such as Live Aid created relationships. Important media in relationships, but we can take some idea to think of mobile mediated sense. Carrying at a distance through mobile media. We can check “interface objects” that effect the type of decisions that are made by people who access these systems. Could we generate new interface objects and how they influence carrying relationships?

Desiree Fields (The University of Sheffield) – financialisation of the private rental sector. Two ideas – through a narrative through tech are claims of transparency, which is the politics and invisibility – face recognition, redlining etc. Tech assumes transparency as a good for itself – the question who is making things visible, why and for whom? transparency is not necessarily empowering – marginalised people and places are being made transparent in order to be controlled. Politics of visibility have lots of justice is important. In NYC the JustFix it is a platform for helping to collect information to address injustice from landlords. The second aspect is the question of the pace of change, how the rapid pace of change – e.g. following technology which disappears. We focus on rapture (disruptions) – we should also look at continuities. Social, power, and political powers are not changing that fast. For example, the interaction between real-estate activities and technologies.

 

Ecsite 2018 conference – Day 1 afternoon: science shops, and the current practice and future of RRI

The afternoon of the first day of Ecsite 2018 included two parallel sessions (the notes from the morning is available here)

Science shops: participatory innovation, research and equity

Bálint Balázs (ESSRG) – the ESSRG acting as an independent science shop in Hungary, and want to share their and other organisations experience in running science shops.

Norbert Steinhaus  Coordinator International Science Shop, Wissenschaftsladen Bonn – Bonn Science Shop, which created the Living Knowledge network. He started with a definition: science shop provide independent, participatory research, to address civil society concerns. There are two general approaches – science shops that are established in universities, and another type that is a not-for-profit organisation outside universities or museums. The Bonn science shop started in 1984, about 50 members of the association, with a budget of 2.6m EUR and 35 people that are working on different projects. Focus on different engagement and different methods that are suitable for the different stakeholder groups. One of the first projects was Art as a medium of science education, in the Botanic Gardens in Bonn and that led to environmental festivals and other learning experiences. Other activities include the Sparks exhibition, but also with other museums and bodies such as Big Picnic in the Botanic Gardens of Bonn. Getting ideas of bottom-up, expressing concerns is an issue across projects – the idea of a pop-up science shop was and engagement.

María Jesús Pinazo, The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) – Hospital Clínic – setting science shops in hospitals and different forms of science shops. the inSPIRES project – a project to build effective cooperation between science and society through Science Shops and increasing responsible participatory research. It is a difficult issue to promote science shops in Bolivia or North Africa. In particular, they are thinking about using RRI, open science, open data and having impact evaluation that needs to be part of their project. They take care to think about cultural context, deal with societal issues, and focus on health. The project will review the science shop concept, and they need to think about the approaches, and recreate civil society the response for their demands. They are in particular planning to create a mentoring programme that will support  having new practitioners in science shops. They are looking at transdisciplinary and transnational science shops projects – having multiple communities address the local problems. Different partners, in Bolivia and Tunisia. They also manage to identify similar questions between different shops by noticing which problems are emerging

Giovanna Pacini (University of Florence) organising science cafe every two weeks, with a link to radio programme and also screening the science shop experience. A physicist who works in a centre for the study of complex dynamic and also in a not-for-profit association Caffe Scienza. She was involved in different projects to fund the effort of the science cafe. The events are being streamed and shared on YouTube, a radio programme (RadioMoka) and also run a science communication – more a laboratory for PhD students in physics and computer science. They try to increase interaction between scientists and public through using science cafe as a way to engage people throughout the research. They are creating a new Florence science shop, and the first thing was to explain it using Monopoly as a way to explain the science shop. Pilot projects include citizen science on diabetic patients, traffic and pollution, domestic violence, and urban gardens. They use the science cafe to collect questions for the science shop work. This is also part of InSPIRES project – inspiresproject.com. The science shop in Florence science-shop.complexworld.net and through InSPIRES they can offer mentoring.

Q – how to demystify scientists? In science cafe, it’s more difficult, the control of information and perceptions of science are unclear. If you challenge the scientists to leave your role – e.g. in science cafe, asking the audience and pushing them to move from the role of telling people

Q – how to reach out to stakeholders? Norbert – start with a smaller group and reach out in a way that takes into account the barriers and the need to reach out actively to people.

Q- financing: is it all project based? sustainability should come from institutions which integrate it into their practice, or the municipality. Reaching to policymaking is difficult, and after elections is something can change. Building the relationships with the city helped through projects that then led to other projects. Incentives for scientists and commitment is difficult it is easier to work with students as it can be credited, and the professor by creating a theme for research. Linking paid services (e.g. education activities) to projects as a way to create sustainability. There is a request for flexibility on the researcher side, and the staff don’t focus all the time on the same topic.

The impact is a complex issue, and the InSPIRES project has developed tools to evaluate it and follow it up with qualitative and quantitative measurements. The impact can come indirectly and over time. For example, working with Roma communities in Hungary is very difficult due to a breakdown of trust and they don’t know how to participate, and they don’t see the value in this area. A group of researchers learned from science shops experience and carry out Participatory Action Research – those who are most in need are being ignored. Need to build trust.

Q – is the model of science shop and science cafe are suitable to push museum outside the walls of the institution. There are issues and experimentation of museums in different communication modes, receiving information from the local community. The partners who hosted the exhibition linked to medical professionals, patients and other stakeholders and then use the museum as the space to carry out the work.

A decade of RRI: stepping stones or erratic rocks?

Frank Kupper (Athena Institute, The Netherland) – Responsible Research and Innovation: what people think of include public engagement, informal education. Actually, it’s a central theme in H2020 and triple origin – societal trends, as a way to implement policy goals, and follow up of science/policy work on science and technologies. These three streams have complicated things. It’s a process of opening up science and alignment of science and society, and the second is an umbrella of covering a whole range of issues in research policy and action. The basic idea of RRI is that early stage engagement, you can take a joint responsibility for the future and respond by changing the course of action. It has been a central theme, and in Horizon Europe RRI disappeared, but the underlying concepts are already there in open science or citizen science. We will cover experiences from a project about keeping the RRI spirit alive without the term?

Carmen Fenollosa (Ecsite) – quick presentations on activities, and discussing RRI. HEIRRI project is about RRI in higher education in H2020. Include a state of the art review in the field of teaching. The core of the project included 10 educational programmes that were carried out. The HEIRRI programmes are all open access and available on RRI-tools website. The question is: who is in the best position to make the change?

Annette Klinkert (CEO city2science) – NUCLEUS was also about communication, learning and engagement in universities. In NUCLEUS focus on responsiveness to a different academic area – looking at university governance and influencing this process. Universities can thrive if it is in communication and responsive to the world outside. They have engaged with university leaders and understanding the barriers to RRI – from too complex, it implies irresponsibility… Also visited different countries to work with different places that work with society and universities. They developed a roadmap for the development of RRI and putting the effort to lead to a change, and aiming for “DNA of RRI” that can be put into different organisations. They think of a network of stakeholders? Do we have an understanding of multiple publics? Do we have co-creation expertise – will that risk existing scientific expertise? Are we going to challenge the current academic system? Also about the engagement – with whom? And also what are the changes to institutional structures.

Ilse Marschalek (Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna) – part of the RRI-Tools projects, and new project called New HoRRIzon which manages the RRI-Tools. New HoRRIzon is looking at the link to SDG and the embodiment of RRI into their work. They are creating social lab – a team, process, appropriate space, then carrying out social experiments and having a learning cycle (Newhorrizon.eu). Pilots include maintenance of a community of practice in the social lab activities. They are interested in questions about open science and public engagement – what can public engagement in RRI really fulfil? The approach is focusing on process rather than participants. there is the confusing understanding of science communication, citizen science, public engagement in research projects. There is poor commitment to use the results of the public engagement activity, and myths about time, costs, uselessness.

Carlos Catalao Alves (Pavilion of Knowledge (Pavilhão do Conhecimento) – worked in RRI-Tools and Fit for RRI. Worked in public engagement for 20 years. RRI and Open Science is competing. The workshop that was organised in an RRI project, people talked about the impact of science and the way it can change society and the way society can change research. Actually, there was a need to avoid the term. The idea is that RRI is not brandable, and not being pushed forward is that it didn’t come from the scientific community, but as an agent that will moralise the academic community. The misunderstanding of RRI are companies such as Facebook and technology companies are in trouble, and society turned around companies – Cambridge Analytica is a research company that was doing things that are undesirable. When we started talking about RRI many years ago, the very few researchers – the educators, public engagers there was no problem. However, with researchers, only think that it is about communication of the science. RRI is socially accessible that is answering societal needs.

Lale Dobrivoje (Centar za promociju nauke, Serbia). In RRI tools carried out different activities to train, advocacy meeting and dissemination. They continue to work in the RRING network that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals. RRI still have an opportunity. There are ways of thinking that through funding mechanism and projects period, RRI will influence the next 5 years and then there are other activities. We can also think about the impact through SDG activities.

Leonardo Alfonsi (Director at Psiquadro, Psiquadro scarl) – Perform project is about innovate STEM education – an attempt to combine RRI with the field of performing arts: standup comedy, clowning, and science busking. Trying to create a show together with the audience – secondary school students. They developed forms of performances, in particular with early career researchers. The indications are that the use of RRI values helped in co-producing the performance. And the question is what is the impact of RRI on the creative process?

 

Ecsite 2018 conference – day 1 Morning: Opening speeches, and citizen science frontiers

img_20180607_094946.jpgThe Ecsite conference took place in Geneva from the 7 to the 9 June. It followed the ECSA conference (or more accurately, ECSA conference was set to coincide with Ecsite). The conference theme was “creative collisions”. The conference was opened by the director of Geneva’s Natural History Museum Jacques Ayer. Organising an Ecsite conference is a crazy adventure – but enriching. Science and the transmission of knowledge are important and it at a risk of dealing with ignorance. By reimagining science and its communication, we can deal with the pressure on science from different directions. The richness and beauty of the world come from its diversity and we need society to appreciate it.

The Mayor of Geneva Sami Kanaan – Geneva have a long history of science, including the academy that was set by Calvin, which became the university and it is central to the city. Scientists left us knowledge and that is managed in the Natural History Museum and the Botanic Gardens – they belong to the city, and therefore to the citizens. They also active in sharing the science with the wider public. Geneva’s citizens are involved and curious – and they use every opportunities to engage with it, including the science night in July in one of the central park. It is a city of dialogue – it specialised in bringing people to organise new norms to organise society. They are interested in the role of science and technology in the life of the city. Thierry Apotheloz – Geneva is the land of sciences from Jean Piaget, Jean Jacque Rousseau. Geneva is also important in the Natural Sciences, and it is been a welcoming place for dialogue and collaboration. Geneva always attributed knowledge as important in its progress, Making science publicly accessible is a mission that the politicians in the city are seeing as very important. We need to maintain social cohesion for democratic functioning – science collides with charlatanism, fake news etc, we need science that is open to the world and respond to it. We need scientists to leave their lab and classroom and go out, this is a critical for societal missions.

Herbert Munder (Ecsite president) – in the conference there are about 1000 participants. In the early 1990s, the opening up to the science – more informed public is more sceptic and critical of research and understood that need to listen and have a dialogue with the public, and then a growth of co-design. The general public is expected to accept scientific finding, but now we experiencing politicians who are not believing in science. Are we back in the 19th and 20th centuries? There is a wide networks of science communication expertise that can address it, there are global challenges and need to address them across the world through network. We have to work together at a European level but we don’t know the challenges and the lack of acceptance of complex model that has been accepted a while ago. There is an effort to ensure funding through programmes such as Horizon Europe.

Catherine Franche – Fact don’t change beliefs, should we change other people language or should we speak other people’s language. Science communicators need to provide the link and the ability to discuss the values that are being integrated into innovations. We need to think about the ongoing changes in society, and we need to offer dignity to everyone in the world and consider how the Sustainable Development Goals are part of our goals.

Philippe Moreillon – the Swiss Academies of Natural Science, followed a rich history in scientific research in Lausanne, and science means knowledge without discrimination – natural science, humanities and social knowledge should be all respected. Ecsite mission of communicating all sciences is important – the academies are there to provide advice on science to policy. We can see the amazing aspect of us as nature studying itself – homo technologicus – it is frightening, but also a success of evolution and nature. The things that we are doing are imitations of the success of nature and the role of museums, in charting these transformation and links. Think about the energy consumption of human brain vs data centres. Museums are the critical in transformation of this knowledge.

It was noticeable how the theme of science under attack, the risk of irrationality, and the solution to it with more science communication was common to the speeches.

Panel: Citizen science: the new frontiers

DSC_0707.JPGBrad Irwin (The Natural History Museum, London) opened the session – talking citizen science, citizen science has got an increasing role in science and engagement, and we have seen new professional societies, activities, and conferences – so what the future holds?

Robert Dunn NCSU – citizen science in the wider context. For example, in anatomy, Galen in early Rome, as a doctor of to gladiators he was starting to make sense of anatomy. While the details were not clear, but the fall of Rome – the next 1000 more forgotten than what was known. With the Renaissance, there was an assumption that the ancient knowledge was correct, and the beginning of understanding that we need new discoveries. Much of what we do is about showing what was already known. Citizen science is to engage people with what is not known – with 20 million animal dissections in class, of which none led to data recording. We also don’t have knowledge of species. Rob’s lab focus on the species that are leaving near us and with us – each breathing bring 1000 species into the lungs. By working with 1000s of students in the class – the outcomes, as related to scientists and the delivery of real science in the context of a museum in which there is sometimes an open, passive-aggressive warfare. Projects include dissecting and learning about the anatomy of humans and animals guts and discovering new things in the process. What is exciting is a collaboration with the museum, from things that scare us to things that we love – sourdough bread is a place that provides a wide range of discoveries. The potential of wide Europe projects – what makes these projects succeed and expand.

Karsten Elmose Vad Senior Consultant The Natural History Museum of Denmark – The NHM in Copenhagen is part of the University of Copenhagen. Two projects, We want to link both ways – citizen doing science which means real science and the linking scientists to the public – public scientists. The Real Science project is for high school students, about eDNA in water sampling. Students are collecting data and analysing the data, and they develop and test new eDNA systems. Students are excited to see a link to research. The evaluation shows that students are motivated by that it makes sense, that it is linked to science and use of data, and it is not just made for students to try. The Ant hunt includes real scientist, doing real research, with real experiment and questions. No tradition of post-school education – Julie, the scientist (PhD student) when around and met participants – and the person who writes back the thank you. Out of 75 responses from participants – about 65% find that it is important to link to scientists and value to have a role model. How close can we get to link citizens and the scientific process and how far we put the scientist in front of the campaign?

DSC_0716.JPGCaren Cooper (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) – linked to the museum. Projects are linked to citizen science and wrote stories about citizen science in her book. With all the stories, there are common themes: citizen science is real science – a lot of what we know if not only from science. There are many unknown things that we will discover through citizen science. We also develop new social capital and it can see sustainability, social justice and environmental justice outcomes. We need to ask questions about who is developing them and how we create the ones that will lead to a better world. Museums are a place of exhibits, collection, but also research. In the same way – a lot of people are doing something without becoming professional – athletics, arts, activism – but science is out of it. People are joining citizen science from curiosity and concerns about their area. Museums have a very long history of collections that are from non-professionals – e.g. egg collections of birds which were donated by hobbyists. The restrictions on collecting eggs from the conservation perspective stopped this. She revive the practice in the practice of Sparrows which are not protected. The Sparrow Swap is helping in understanding the patterns, heavy metal in the shell, understanding contaminants and provide replacement eggs as a conservation control. In Sound around Town, there are using lending of professional equipment to let people collect sound samples and classify them in their backyard. The eMammal use camera traps and classifications to allow analysis of animal patterns. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science do human subject research, e.g. taste, or belly button biodiversity to test for the hygiene hypothesis. There are also transcriptions projects of collections – and the WeDigBio as a collection of all these projects. SciStarter provide a gateway to move into specific projects, such as projects for the Girl Scouts and can earn badges in citizen science, and also do that with undergraduates with every student in NCSU will get credits for their effort of joining a project and match it to their study

Where citizen science in the next 10-15 years? Caren – citizen science is evolving into discovery and decision making, and that is needed in smart cities, Internet of Things, etc. We should make them intentional and get them into other areas. Rob – becoming institutional – from schools and universities that integrate it throughout education and that is hard, but it might become with flagship institutions that need to do that. Another part of it, is that tools for discovery are becoming very cheap and how citizen science uses them will be important – e.g. sequencing of DNA is changing rapidly, and when it’s going to be very cheap – same for camera trapping the world, or how we address and build on that is important. There are issues of pollution monitoring and sensors when low costs sensors will become reliable – this will change the very small area. Agriculture: there is the potential for using the new sensing capabilities. Karsten – the scientist role in this need to change, and in that way, we need more scientists that are willing to do citizen science. The Copenhagen university mentioned citizen science in its strategy briefly but it is an issue of how to change them. Caren- Scientists need to make a mind shift on how they engage, and they need the skills. Rob – the skills that are needed will make them better scientists in general. We will end with a better scientist. Brad – how do you change the culture? Very slow transition? Caren -In NCSU there is a buy-in from all levels, but in the people that come into science will drive it.

Q&A – Polish experience: running citizen science in science centre – one where the participants are real scientists, a small number, on the other hand, citizen scientists as just data collectors – you told me that I’m a citizen scientist, this is just data collection. The more scientific it is, the more there is a need to adapt and change the project, and keep the scientists and participants along the same route is hard to manage and run. How to create projects at large scale as real scientists, beyond collecting data. If they only have done the data collection, and not in the analysis, they complain about the experience. Rob – the more quickly we can relate the data collection relate to the wider study, this helps. Also can do a more advanced style of studies, with a small group of participants and have an onlooker effect. Caren – thinking about different levels, and gives a way to allow people to engage at a higher level.

People who participate in prototype feel that they don’t feel that they do real science, and it is hard to convince them that. Museum and science centre are places where you don’t expect to do something new – even with scientists who work behind glass, some people think that these are real scientists and not actors. Putting on information – showing the stories of discoveries by scientists is something that needs to communicate.

What is the place of citizen science in museums there is a role of engaging in environmental challenges, and it is not clear what the museums need to engage with societal issues? Caren – museums are still seen as trusted organisations, so discussion about technology and science policy are done in museums. Rob – one model of what museums can be about.

Citizen science from researchers perspective, education, but what about empowering people and addressing local problems – a coalition with engagement organisation (e.g. Science Shops) can be important. It can be promising.

Another question – who is owning the definition of what real science is, and a lot of visitors feel that it is far away, and the scientists are keeping their position. Need to bridge perceptions of participants and scientists are lots of time data collectors.

Are there other examples of addressing questions that the public participates in the question? When we collect information and other forms of knowledge that can be included in science? Rob – linking to food is an opportunity to engage and build on what people know, and demonstrate wider forms of knowledge. People can taste the results.

Final question from Justin Dylon: Is it ever morally acceptable not to pay people for citizen science? [my answer: the wrong question, considering that it’s the most educated in society who participate, the volunteering is a social payback]

Co-designing the Citizen Science Global Partnership

DSC_0691.JPGThe workshop on the Citizen Science Global Partnership (CSGP) – the workshop included people from US, Brazil, Equador, Australia, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, as well as UNESCO. A range of interests in terms of citizen science activities – from health to ecological observations. Martin Brocklehurst summarised where we are – in the UNEA3: there was a range of representative and at the end of a session a statement made a statement about the need for citizen science and coordination at the global level. The role of this partnership is to provide a coordination point for global organisations that are linked to a different association in different parts of the world, following the UN structure.dsc_0692.jpg Creating consortia for a global programme with similar research; support the collection of exchange of open, interoperable, and FAIR data, and understand and track how citizen science contributes to the SDGs. Wilson Center in DC offers an institutional home. Currently, the scope of projects that were put forward in a survey includes about 7 global scope projects and many single projects in specific countries or regions that can be part of the initiative. The common themes across projects are sustainable development goals – organisations that specifically looking at them, e.g. Citizen Science Centre Zurich. There there are an offering of technological assistant. there are conversation internally and externally in the citizen science community to address the SDGs and as we go lower than big institutions globally, there is less awareness, we need to consider a 13 years process and increase strength at a global scale and propose for creating a working group on the topic. Some of the challenges for the partnership is establishing a governance structure to think how to address requests and approaches, and that might be organised with individual volunteering to put an effort in the partnership but having some agreed ToR with their association. There are opportunities with the Geneva effort on Open17 which already have linked with UN, WHO and others. There is a website citizenscienceglobal.org – there will be a discussion forum that will require moderation and probably need to allow for closed conversations about it.

DSC_0693.JPGAnother challenge is the aims of coordination of communication – to UN, businesses etc. Need to help to establish new networks in new places. The participants in the meeting concluded that the top priority is network and lead consortia for global projects. Future meetings might coincide with international conferences that are linked to UN and the global data forum.

European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) 2018 Conference – day 2: Beyond the deficit model, inclusiveness, libraries, and

The second and last day of the conference (day 1 is covered here) started early, with a keynote: “Science society continuum: From ‘deficit model’ to social demand on research – the reform of science in progress” Lionel Larqué, FR – [physicist and head the collaboration of education, civil society organisations, and science. Influenced partnerships between science and society on non-deficit model of science.] The organisation ALLISS was set in 2012 – to address Science & Society Continuum. There is a book on “sciences participatives” and it is in French and aimed at the local community. Speak from the French perspective, the founders of the institution that he runs – 1800 members (institutions) and 15-20 years of cooperation. Science-society concepts: seeing it as good answers for the wrong questions, at the background of the public policy – what we can and can’t do. Science/society came from institutions – a structural bias, it came from scientific and European institutions – the reason to start it. It starts with wrong and incomplete data, ideas from the 1970s and 1980s about mistrust of citizens in science. What is the reality of current public view on science is unknown, we don’t know if the questions were well written. The policy was based on scientific prejudice, and assumptions about public mistrust in science – but generally, from 1972 to today, in France 78%-85% people have trust in the knowledge from science (without linking to technology or how science run). There is no strong data that will show the strong mistrust and mix criticism with mistrust. The French science academy is full of non-rational scientists who feed the discourse of public mistrust. A lot of bad reasons for creating agnotological public debate – some scientists want to instrumentalise the public debate. by saying that there is a mistrust, then you can rely on deficit model and ignore the public and that is useful. It also seems obvious to claim that it is obvious, as all institutions face mistrust – politics, media, law and order, and therefore assume that science is also getting it. The pressure on scientists is getting higher and the scientific community is suffering from the pressure – political power, social actors, finance. Scientific institutions are the last trusted institutions and ask to answer all the questions, and the scientists feel pressured by these demands and they see that as a problem that they want people to leave them to their own actions. There is a vicious cycle of address the deficit model because. ALLISS put forward the idea that we need to ask the new question. We need to face institutional walls – they don’t want to accept that society at large is way more educated and therefore scientific institutions need to change. ALLISS tries to figure out the institutional challenge.

The French situation: high level of trust from the public towards science, but criticism towards the institutions. There is a large scale cooperation between civil society organisations and scientific organisations (CNRS, INRS…). The number is very high, but the institutions are not looking at it in their strategic plans – cooperation developed despite institutional policies. In 2001-2009, the World Social Forum, from 8500 workshops, only 70 talked about science and technology. For a lot of social actors, science is outside the frame and in 2007 launched the “science and democracy world forum” – can we share a common view about it? The workshops show that dialogue was not the issue, but what can we change the context – what can you do to change partnerships. Need to change something: policy, concept, etc. . A mass of initiatives won’t be enough to change policy. The barrier of science institutions is a big barrier and it hasn’t changed from the 1970s to today. The main tradition of science is a problem for citizen science – it is put in a box and put into a specific space so it won’t change the bigger institutions. Citizen science dynamics is one that allows us to change things: we need to understand where we came from – design of research and science policies – the key design was for making Europe stronger, rebuilt, and link science and industry. Now there are local actors, local groups, and the science-policy doesn’t have tools that allow that – a non-industrial research policy focused on society is needed. Scientific institutions we have a wider policy alliance. Are the people that work in museums, institutions. Things won’t change the way we want them – they don’t have a sequential process, e.g. feminism impact in scientific study and what helped: bicycle, war, and image in the mass media in the 1960s of women in the media. Changes are not rational, but even when the forces are strong we need both the cumulative experience and the politics. Open science initiative might help us, maybe close to the SDG initiatives and we can explore them through research. We observe that the sociology of citizen science is that a lot of citizen science is coming from institutions that propagate the deficit model and we need to play both with these institutions and the cost are very high. We need to be clear that we need a change, we understand what we can change and what can’t be changed. The Shock Doctrine is something that we need to be aware of it – think outside ourselves. ALLISS and ECSA need to be ready.

Workshop “Empowerment, inclusiveness & equity in community-based research and CS”

Claudia Göbel, Michael Jorganson , ECSA (DE). Notes on https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/ECSA2018-EIE and there are issues at Michael: CBR – civil society have issues that need to be addressed by authorities but this need to be documented, There is also need for the development of new knowledge or new proposals (e.g. urban agriculture). Empowerment – knowledge might empower – but not enough, there is also translations and alliances to make it effective. There are sometimes need to figure out new methods in the institution and in society. Working deliberately with empowerment. Claudia – looked at the Soleri 2016: empowerment – capacity to make a change. The terminology can be about equity and inclusiveness. It’s about who is participating, and it builds on conversations that evolve from the CSA conference but also ECSA conference in 2016, workshops in Living Knowledge conference, policy roundtables. From the living knowledge conference, there are different ideas about research, especially different epistemologies of science “distant vs engaged research. The idea of a working ground on empowerment and some activities that a group can do.

 

Barbara Kieselnger – ideas of citizen social science – building on participatory action research, data activism, action research – but we now combine it with other sources. Done a classification of citizen science projects. Different projects that engage citizens, for example, a project in Barcelona and using an existing of environmental activists and political and street actions. Want to understand ozone pollution. The Careables – it’s a project which involves people with physical limitation and maker communication, sharing the co-design openly.

Balint Balazs – pointing about the silence of citizen science in central Europe (same issues at the UCL workshop on Geographical Cit Sci). Making invisible project visibility. Thinking of citizen social science. Aspects of empowerment: autonomy, competence, belonging, impact, meaning, resilience – need to think how they work.

Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou– question the notion of inclusiveness: e.g. a transgender friend that ask about having us as a bigger group to colour a project. Adding a symbolic inclusiveness. In order to put in evidence the power of community – a summit in Ghana on the AfricaOSH – a big conversation about making/ hacking/bio-hacking and to bring together as a community what is the open science mean to us.

Muki Haklay – I’ve focused on passive and assertive inclusiveness, the need for a more nuanced view of participation as we have societal benefits from highly educated people, and the problem of methodological individualism in the analysis of empowerment and inclusion. Call for also a realistic understanding of resources – the more inclusive you are, the more expensive the process of including them is – e.g. the need to morally justify the intelligent maps effort, where each engagement in very expensive.

Libby Hepburn covered the issue of the global initiative of citizen science, which is providing an opportunity for different organisations and programmes to collaborate and the potential of leveraging the SDG to address societal challenges, demonstrate the needs for citizen science applications and use.

The session’s discussion turned to different aspects of inclusiveness and the creation of an ECSA working group.

Speed Talks “Citizen Engagement”

Nina James, University of South Australia (AUS): Strangers, Stewards and Newcomers in CS identities of those that participate – looked at 9 contributory project, 900 participants, and 1400 non-participants. It is very diverse fields – motivated by different things, she found in conservation 49-69 female mostly (70%). Different from non-participants. highly educated, sense of connection to the environment. First identity is environmental stewards – connected to nature, strong awareness, also actively politically engage, and participate in more than one projects. Science enthusiasts – participate in other cit sci, interested in science, interested in technology and confident about it, and less politically active. Also included in a project that there are introverts and extroverts (a project in a museum and also online). The men are topic oriented, motivated in science and technology, and in the outback in the fireballs in the sky that includes 77% men. There are newcomers – motivated by the topic. Millenials are in small percentage. The strangers are haven’t participated in citizen science – less politically engaged, lower education, too many conflicting interests. People are participating in different projects. The participation of female (70%) is an issue – result of an online survey.

Cat Stylinski, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (US): Embedded Assessment of Skills in CS. Embedded assessment in citizen science – provides an introduction. Volunteers need to develop skills in citizen science to participate, and this is important to upheld scientific standards. Need to identify the skills, train support, then assess the skills and then a need to think how this work. Assessment includes formal tests, informal observations, and data validation. Embedded assessment is done as people involved in the project – so giving an activity and then developing a rubric to compare what people did. Embedded assessment try to streamline the process – data validation is usually focusing on science variable, and instead of looking at the volunteers and how they learn the approach. Figuring out a new way to integrate the assessment with project’s process.

Kate Lewthwaite, Woodland Trust (UK): Engaging older citizen scientists in the digital era. A painful case study of moving people to a new website – working on woods and working with many volunteers in Nature Calendar – many recorders are over 60 and even 80. Important contributors to phenology. They wanted to move the website to a new system because of the technological change – but some people used the website for 10 years. Consulted with the scientific users of the data on improvements – better location information, ask the number of visits, and improving data about participants. Used persona for the design process. Overall the participants struggle much more than expected. Registration through verification links in email and needed to assist in copy and paste, and need to use an alphanumeric password. They haven’t read the website and couldn’t understand why there was a need to add a security information. The manipulation of mapping (survey123 style of moving the map) was confusing. Don’t do change – there was once a decade to do a change and plan support, expect more staff resources to make it happen, and they needed the support. They talked with 20 interviews and the development team explore the issue with infrequent users, That why they thought that everything is ready. Continue to run a paper-based system. They’ve lost some of the people in the transition, and don’t have the ability to provide an app, yet – it’s planned.

Karsten Elmose Vad, The Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen (DK): What motivates families to do CS? evaluation of the Ant Hunt (mentioned in the previous post) – an experiment of food preferences of ants. Take several hours, capturing ant, and sending them. They focused on families with children 6-13, Denmark doesn’t have an after-school science. Put the researcher on video and she wrote back to participants. got 356 experiments, 260 users, 24 species and 6000 ants. The evaluation shows that for more people having scientists connected to the project it was the majority, and it was valuable for them to get a response from a scientist which coordinated the project – felts that it provide participation in something big and the opportunity to work with a scientist. Valuable cross-generation activity, open-ended experiment, the scientific method. They didn’t care about the competition.

Gaia Agnello, ECSA (DE): Motivations and perceived benefits predict citizen
scientists´ level of engagement. Used the volunteer function index (clary & snider 1998) the analytical framework for voluntarism. Looking how these factors influence the programme – looking through an online questionnaire. 174 responses – more motivated to nature issues. It is important to understand motivation in relation to engagement. The initial motivation is not driving the level of engagement.

Talks  – “Social Innovation”

Tiberius Ignat et al., Scientific Knowledge Services (DE): Working Together: CS and Research Libraries – presented with Paul Ayres of UCL libraries. The request to talk at the conference is about the role of libraries in support activities especially research library – these are areas of research libraries that are important. They have supported organisation, highly standardised, well connected in a network and work well. They build collections or resources, data and material. The manage the incoming and outgoing of scientific communication with researchers and world leaders of open science and advocates of it – pushing open access and are experienced advocates. They are also open to innovation and work through transformation for all their roles. Fun people, centrally located, and also have a culture of being politeness towards answers. They have 10 major skills: collaboration between libraries, they have communication skills, have a FAIR concept that is integrated into their practices, good in infrastructure and governing it. They have experience in maintaining and curating collections. They have experience in open access, connecting people. They have demonstrated advocacy as a network – open access and fees campaign for example. The confluences are areas of opportunities – skills development, support, collection, FAIR data, infrastructure, evaluation, communication – general skills but also in the recruitment of volunteers, marketing and in advocacy. In 2017 there was a set of presentation on the “Roles for libraries in the Open Science landscape” and done 12 presentations and in 2918 presenting on 2018 “Focus on Open Science”. There is a demand for citizen science in these events. Looking at the OSPP of the EU, citizen science is one of the 8 pillars of open science. There is a consistent line of supporting open science in 2016 in Amsterdam, then in the OSPP which just produced a recommendations on citizen science, and LERU advice paper on open science in May 2018. Library engagement in citizen science – an example from UCL East – UCL library thinking about a local oral history in the borough of Newham. The other example is the Transcribe Bentham is the crowdsourcing with 624 and it is very cost effective – an example of contribution through the special collection . Another example is the establishment of university press that is dedicated to Open Access . The answers – why do citizens collaborate? What is the motivation to volunteers? and so on. Libraries have a very important role and there is an open survey at knowledge.services/citizenscience

Susanne Hecker et al., Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
UFZ/German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-JenaLeipzig (DE): Innovation in and with CS. The journey about the ECSA 2016 and the development of the new open access book from the conferences –  bringing the experiences of the conference, bringing 120 researchers and what we can expect from the book – 29 chapters in 5 sections. Part 1 is about innovation in citizen science – setting the scene: it will include the description of the Ten Principles of citizen science, standards for citizen science, then the contribution on scientific impact, my chapter on participation in citizen science, then technology and infrastructure and evaluation. Part II, focus on questions on society – understanding the social theory, empowerment and scientific library, inclusiveness, support (technically and socially) and the integration with the higher education system. We have 40 case studies in the book, but in particular in China, Europe, Global mosquito alert, and water quality. The third part, focus on the science-policy interface, including policy formulation with an input from people at the EC and from Environmental Protection Agencies, also Responsible Research and Innovation. The next section is the innovation in technology and environmental monitoring (part IV) and it looks at technologies, light pollution, data protocol, and national monitoring programmes. The last part – section V – looking at science communication and education – making it education, addressing science capital through citizen science, children, school education, and stories that change the world. Key recommendation complete the book. The discussion included questions about the production of the book at open access and the need to promote it to policymakers and to wider audiences

Closing session

Claudia Appenzeller-Winterberger-  – citizen science is engagement of scientists and of the citizens, and you need to think why are we doing it? Is we summarise the dialogue, it is about the question of scientists and let the public ask questions. Thinking global and acting local. We will have to think about these new questions: a lot of it is testing and doing citizen science.