European Citizen Science Association Conference 2020

On the behalf of the INOS Project, I presented a poster at this year’s online European Citizen Science Association Conference. The contents of the poster is based on this output of the INOS Project. The poster was designed by myself. The abstract of the poster is as follows:

Open Science and Citizen Science are key catalysts in shaping research and society in the European Union and the world. The INOS Project aims to modernize Higher Education curricula through civic engagement in Open and Citizen Science. This project tackles relevant issues and connects three features that have yet to be associated: a) Open and Citizen Science together, b) active learning approaches and c) mainstreaming in Higher Education interdisciplinary practice and curricula. This poster presents nine ways to integrate Open and Citizen Science into active learning approaches in Higher Education. More information and resources are available on our website (

Personal reflection

I was extremely pleased to attend my first conference dedicated to Citizen Science. As I had hoped, I learnt of many applications of citizen science, and was delighted to know that conversations on Responsible Research and Innovation were in the forefront of many discussions i.e. doing away with the “citizen technician” model were citizens only contribute data and benefit/learn little in return.

Here are just a few thoughts and lessons from the conference, which are of course biased to my pre-knowledge and interests:

  • Uses of Citizen Science
    • Citizen Science can be used to increase people’s connectivity with nature by promoting more meaningful, intimate interactions with nature.
    • Citizen Science can help with localise issues into a relatable level for participants. E.g. Citizen Science can localise issues related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are broadly described.
  • Participation and engagement
    • Barriers for participation in Citizen Science activities need to be carefully considered. E.g. Chemistry projects may require special equipment, chemicals, laboratories. But there are solutions with some creative thinking.
    • There is the opinion that a key barrier to participation in Citizen Science projects is not always “motivation”, but rather systemic barriers for those of marginalised backgrounds etc.
    • Engagement also has to do with the availability of sufficient support.
    • “Superusers” vs “dabblers” – should we always strive to convert dabblers into superusers? Superusers can bias data.
    • Dialogue, establishing connection and communication are key when considering empowerment, inclusiveness and equity in Citizen Science activities.
    • Open Access science communication tools supports inclusiveness and empowerment by encouraging a humanistic, person-oriented approach to science communication.