Ecsite 2018 – Day 2: technology advocacy, evolution, citizen science in parody trial, and DITOs

The second day of Ecsite 2018 included several interesting sessions (here is day 1) which includes a morning discussion about the role of science centres and museum in the public discussion of science and technology, a parody trial of citizen science, and a discussion on the nature of multi-country projects, where I gave a presentation of the Doing It Together Science (DITOs) as an example.

Technology advocates or whistleblowers?

DSCN2809Laurent Chicoineau (Quai des savoirs, TOULOUSE France) – his first experience with the challenges of communicating science and technology was in Grenoble with protests against nano-technology in the 1990s. At the time, the science centre explored the different views about it through an exhibition, public discussions, etc. The view from the government was that science communication was failed, as it didn’t convince the public that nanotech is good. In Toulouse, they made an exhibition in which people could choose from 15 innovations – people were more interested in medical innovation, and not in the one about enhanced- or trans-humanism. In a cartoon representation of the development of science and technology, it was asked: “why the future taste like bleach?” – it is a view of technology that emphasises clean and organised future. instead, thinking about Balck Mirror as an inspiration, and then have a story with a weird situation and then use them as a provocation to make people think and discuss potential future.

DSCN2810Ian Brunswick (Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin) – he takes the view that science centres should be more whistleblowers – problems such as climate change, environmental and other issues are social problems and therefore require social awareness. We should provoke people – the view that privatisation of space exploration is championed well enough – e.g. Elon Musk, so the centres should be raising challenges. If we don’t do that, we leave the critique of the future to populists. We should ask about various aspects of current technological developments – e.g. if the AI can write articles, poetry, or art. There are issues of sustainability – e.g. lead-free bullets that can be used without contaminating the water table. Or asking questions about 3D printed guns that show the potential of technology. or issues of climate change – in Climate Bureau that was pointing to a discussion about the winners and losers and profiteering from it. Each glimpse to a wider issue, we want people to make people feel.

Herbert Muender (Universum Managements GmbH, Bremen Germany) running a science centre in an area surrounded by technology and science companies and universities. The question is the topic is controversy – do the visitors understand our views? AI was mentioned and need to think about its current impact. For example, how much news is written by journalists: about 65% of news is now written or produced by bots. The understanding of what it means, and what Deep Learning mean? There is an issue that technology is running faster and faster and science centres cannot follow it up. Are they well informed about it or need to raise the information about the dangers and challenges? When it comes to fake news and science, the science centre is a trusted place and we need to consider the pro and cons. In Bremen, they experience fight over animal testing, and the scientist had to be protected by the Police, and the dialogue broke. Issues about anti-vaccination: what shall they do about it if the issue will come up? If we are talking about probabilities of 1% of a problem, how do we explain it to the public? Mentioning that media need to highlight minority position in order to raise their sales – and this is not wrong, it is how the process work and they have to accept it.

Joanna Kalinowska (Copernicus Science Centre, Poland) led the discussion: There are other positions in the spectrum and society have a great ability to absorb science – e.g. the change in the acceptance of surgery. At the London Science Museum – when there is new science, they present multiple views, and if something is controversial, they tend to take them away for a dialogue. Also created a situation that people will have to take a side and protest their side. In Science Gallery Dublin, the issue of climate science – they scientists requested the respect of the public and not their trust. They consider that the scientists don’t have their interests at heart – the one to one conversations are more effective. Another experience is seeing data that is pushed by companies that are driving specific views from companies – they also fund exhibitions and influence the funding. The limitation of the approach of Science Gallery Dublin with a more provocation approach is that beyond the creation of feeling and connections to the topic, it is the need for people to give them knowledge, but don’t link it to action – sometimes pointing to events that are linked to it. Museums and Galleries should be safe space for controversial topics. Discussions about vaccines require a safe space to be discussed and provide the range of information that is coming from it.

We need to consider what the protest is about – for example the French protest about nano-tech was there mostly about the model of industrial development and the role of public research in society. Science is not neutral or value-free. Another view: science centres do not have the expertise to judge on an issue, and they don’t have the ability to set the views. Issues of public

Public engagement with evolution: beyond giraffes and genes

DSC_0736.JPGJustin Dillon (University of Exeter) seeing evolution as a fundamental concept in science and the job is to engage people with a proper understanding of evolution. From our own experience, there are different ways of understanding how it works and what works and what doesn’t work. The session will allow different conversations with panellists.

Tania Jenkins (EvoKE- Evolutionary Knowledge for Everyone | SCNAT) Coordinating the Evoke project, and there is a basic understanding in scientific circles about giraffes and finches, and similar things. In the public imagination, it is about human evolution of religious beliefs. The evoke is trying to demonstrate that it is relevant to everyday life – from vaccines to climate change and biodiversity, The project is about engaging many researchers in information and formal education – COST Action 17127 is dedicated to the citizen engagement with evolution. The discussion that she led was solution-oriented – thinking about analogies: not believing in evolution, but about engaging in something like language. There is a potential interaction with kids and can classify things. There’s a major misconception that evolution is slow, not only antibiotics, and the way things evolve and not the linear view of evolution.

Maartje Kijne (Naturalis Biodiversity Center Leiden) Running a workshop with families, and doing work on their ancestors (in terms of human evolution) and dealing with people that are critical with evolution and with science. The discussion concludes that we recognise critical people – they deny what you’re saying, or ask for a proof. With people who deny things, you can explain the scientific process, seek common ground, point that evolution is not disconnected from faith. No awareness of micro and macro aspects of evolution.

Yamama Naciri (Corvatoire & Jardin botaniques de Genève) Geneticist, and working on the interface between population genetics and in the reconstruction of the trees of life, and specification. In the botanical gardens, they are thinking about the creation of an evolutionary trail – how interaction can increase the participant experience. Discussed in the group that facilitators have an important role, and engage in a discussion. Having evolutionary biologist in the exhibition can allow them to give facts, and less engage too deeply in a discussion and step back when things are too antagonistic. It is really important to explain the rules before the beginning of the workshop or the tour. Can be valuable to work with small children, especially with immigrant communities.

Henrik Sell (Natural History Museum, Aarhus) and would like to discuss how to make an exhibition about evolution – many people that visit the museum believe in evolution, and about 10% reject it – the visitors already believe in the issues that are presented to them. How to engage with people who are not accepting the theory? Should their view present? Especially when it comes to human evolution there are people who express their view that it is incompatible with their religious belief and then shut down. Use examples that are contemporary, e.g. demonstrate with dogs evolution. Provide historical perspective.

Citizen science on trial (parody trial)

DSC_0738.JPGSharon Ament (Museum of London) convened and chaired the session – A case of this magnitude requires a jury, that will make a decision about the case. The question that we are asking: is citizen science a robust model that is going to stay, or is it just a fashion that is going to go away like many other fashions in the past.

Aliki Giannakopoulou (Ellinogermaniki Agogi SA) plaintiff – arguing the citizen science – this case is not about citizen science but about citizen scientists. They are white, male, untrained, and anonymous. In many cases, there are bad intentions, and when it is implemented, it leads to ethical and legal questions. Are we take advantage when it is supposed to be democratic? Is it in a world that so many people are left behind is citizen science creating a barrier? scientists in most citizen science do not even interact with people. Citizen science is serving institutional goals of getting work for free, participants are not engaged in other public engagement activities. Not enough evaluation of citizen science is available, not enough about the ethical issues with it. We live in a time of big data – are people that are downloading an app really contribute to sign? The ICT doesn’t make people into scientists? What about the risks and the security of the participant.

DSCN2816Brad Irwin, (The Natural History Museum, London) defence  – an outdated opening statement – we heard that citizen science is the domain of old white male scientists. One of the most important new forms of science engagement. Will demonstrate that citizen science is contributing to world-class science, and engaging the public that takes part. It is engaging the public in dealing with the big issues that are facing the world. People are involved in collecting the data and finding ways to address these problems. It is here to stay.

DSCN2821The first witness for the persecution: Justin Dillon – is citizen science real science? the answer is No – science is a relatively complex process of systematically building knowledge, and make a model of how the world works, and then experimenting on real-world phenomena. If the prediction of the model matches the experiment, the model is held, and otherwise, it fails. That is what scientists do. Counting the number of eggs in a nest is is not science – looking at galaxies on the screen is not science. Need to remove the science from citizen science. Volunteers who are doing valuable work for scientists who don’t want to pay – citizen slavery or citizen technician.  What about the quality of the data? (laughter from the witness) scientists require so many volunteers is that because of the quality of the data is so poor, and therefore need to have so many of them to get it right. Generally, the quality of the data is poor. Final question: are citizen scientists acknowledge on publications? You would expect them to be on the list of authors – since the scientists are not considering as real scientists, they leave it to a footnote. Using the brochure of Spotteron to point that the people who are doing citizen science don’t look like scientists.

Defence interrogation of the witness: made a claim that people don’t have better things to do with their time – is there something better thing than to contribute to science? Answer – maybe they can’t do something better. The citizen scientists are not scientists and therefore can’t do science – and using the example from a paper by Dillon on “moving from citizen to civic science to address wicked conservation problems“.

Walter Staveloz – are citizen science project inclusive? 80% are white middle-class people, other people are not included. The whole approach is to tell people what to do because scientists know better – this is the deficit model all over again. Need further steps to make people know what they are doing, which a lot of time is not the case. Defence – regular science is white, can we first change the paradigm. Citizen Science can create an illusion that they participate in something meaningful way in science, and many times when people collect data they don’t know what do with it.

Matteo Merzagora – advocate a science that is useful for the whole society. Science needs to be independent and challenge societal values, not like what RRI call for science that is aligned with society. I want to challenge technology development. When we talk about citizen science we assume activists. Actually, citizen science is a trojan horse for market-driven science. The knowledge that Google is producing is based on co-production of knowledge? Is the new way of using us is done in collaboration with citizens, and it is market driven and an example of the issue.

DSCN2823Jim Browton (NHM) – the NHM in London is trying to get with citizen science – believe in the universality of experience and building knowledge. The citizen science project – Microverse is aimed at micro-fauna of cities and help people to discover real health issues that affect communities in the UK. The participation of schools is not in volunteering, so is that citizen science?.

Marianne Achiam – Citizen science can be exclusive – this is not a problem of citizen science, there are projects that are skewed and we should not leave the field. A project in the University of Copenhagen that is focused on ant include a significant outreach. Properly design citizen science can be inclusive indeed. Evaluation is important, and research is more important – we missing knowledge on how citizen science work and how it should work.

DSCN2828Caren Cooper – it is incorrect to say that citizen science is not real science: half of what we know about climate change on migratory birds is from citizen science, also an amateur astronomer who published a paper. There are many types of citizen science: there are citizen science projects that are community driven, and they are hard to quantify.

Prosecution questions: does this make the participants – they are citizen scientists and not scientists. It’s a different way to contribute to science.

Final prosecution statement: propose to ban large project and focus on the small projects, be really participatory and stop calling it citizen science. Defence: citizen science – we heard from people that are writing one thing in the trial but write up something.

The verdict: the case for the defence, to be clear the jury of the opinion is that citizen science is important, but the jury wants to say that citizen science should be inclusive of all communities and need to work to do it so. The science element should be robust. The citizen bit needs to be participatory and meaningful.

Multi-country science engagement programmes

This was a short session (45 minutes) that discussed four examples of multi-country projects in the area of science communication. Details about the session are here. The session was in a short Pecha Kucha style, with 15 slides that progress every 20 seconds, and I’ve used it to describe Doing It Together Science (DITOs) is a 3-year project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, that is aimed to increase awareness of and participation in citizen science across Europe and beyond. It is focused on communication, coordination, and support of citizen science activities. Therefore, the project promotes the sharing of best practices among existing networks for a greater public and policy engagement with citizen science through a wide range of events and activities.

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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]