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Citizen Science in Open Science context: measuring & understanding impacts of deeper public participation in science

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Within the emerging European agenda for open science, deeper public engagement with science, through citizen science, is now part and parcel of Horizon Europe. Yet, there are many issues that need to be understood – the uneven landscape of citizen science across the European Research Area, scientific disciplines, and institutions; the balancing of multiple goals that citizen science projects enact between raising awareness to scientific issues to producing data and analysis that can lead to top discoveries; measuring and assessing the outcomes and outputs of projects; and consideration about the data, analysis, and outputs. The talk will provide a short introduction to citizen science and modes of engagement in it, introduce the “Doing It Together Science” (DITOs) escalator model; and review some of the emerging policy responses to citizen science across the world.

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Citizen Science in Open Science context: measuring & understanding impacts of deeper public participation in science

  1. 1. Citizen Science in Open Science context: measuring & understanding impacts of deeper public participation in science Muki Haklay, Extreme Citizen Science group Department of Geography, UCL Twitter: @mhaklay / @ucl_excites
  2. 2. • Overview of citizen science activities today across Europe – Modes of participation; Relationships between scientists and the public; Disciplines; and Cultures • Positioning citizen science within wider public engagement – example from DITOs • Emerging policy responses to citizen science • Measuring & evaluating Synopsis
  3. 3. • In the past decade, the awareness to citizen science has grown rapidly Citizen Science today
  4. 4. • Levels of education (esp. rise in higher education) • Technological developments (Web, mobile phones, broadband) Underlying trends >200 million R Nial Bradshaw
  5. 5. Haklay, Mazumdar & Wardlaw, 2018, Citizen Science for Observing and Understanding the Earth, Earth Observation, Open Science, and Innovation Citizen Science Long running Citizen Science Ecology & biodiversity Meteorology Archaeology Citizen Cyberscience Volunteer computing Volunteer thinking Passive Sensing Community Science Participatory sensing DIY Science Civic Science
  6. 6. Citizen Science Long running Citizen Science Ecology & biodiversity Meteorology Archaeology Citizen Cyberscience Volunteer computing Volunteer thinking Passive Sensing Community Science Participatory sensing DIY Science Civic Science
  7. 7. Biodiversity • Innovations in what and where information can be capture: Sauvages de ma rue helps identify the distribution of wild plants in dense urban areas.
  8. 8. © Audubon Cal. Jennifer Jewett / USFWS © WMO–No. 919 Meteorology • Volunteers continued to contribute observations • Met Office WOW approaching 15 million • Volunteers also use automatic weather stations
  9. 9. Citizen Science Long running Citizen Science Ecology & biodiversity Meteorology Archaeology Citizen Cyberscience Volunteer computing Volunteer thinking Passive Sensing Community Science Participatory sensing DIY Science Civic Science
  10. 10. Volunteer computing
  11. 11. Volunteer Thinking
  12. 12. • In passive sensing, participants download a software, and sometimes connect a sensor, to allow for a wide network of observation. • Quake-Catcher provide detailed seismographic observations Passive Sensing
  13. 13. Citizen Science Long running Citizen Science Ecology & biodiversity Meteorology Archaeology Citizen Cyberscience Volunteer computing Volunteer thinking Passive Sensing Community Science Participatory sensing DIY Science Civic Science
  14. 14. Mapping for Change Participatory Sensing
  15. 15. DIY Science Imane Baiz, CRI Paris
  16. 16. • Need to assemble large data sets of classifications • The classifications can only partially automated, and need human assistant • Use of cognition and crowdsourcing Astrophysics: counting galaxies SDSS, Galaxy Zoo; Composite: Richard Nowell & Hannah Hutchins
  17. 17. • Participants discussed the initiation of the study • Participants volunteered to self experiment, with control drawn from other participants. RCT: PatientsLikeMe Lithium Study
  18. 18. • Biomedicine developed statistical techniques to merge results from multiple studies (meta- analysis) • Cochrane Crowd is a system for the classification of journal abstracts to assist systematic reviews and meta-analysis Crowdsourcing RCT results
  19. 19. Geography/Anthropology: Towards Intelligent Maps
  20. 20. Gbiné, Cameroon
  21. 21. Haklay. 2013. Citizen Science and volunteered geographic information: Overview and typology of participation, Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge
  22. 22. POLICY AND PRACTICE
  23. 23. Citizen Science emergent: environment • Prof. Jacquie McGlade, head of European Environment Agency, 2008 (Aarhus + 10): ‘Often the best information comes from those who are closest to it, and it is important we harness this local knowledge if we are to tackle climate change adequately… people are encouraged to give their own opinion on the quality of the beach and water, to supplement the official information.’
  24. 24. EEA WaterWatch
  25. 25. • (2012)-2014 – Citizen Science Association • 2013 – European Citizen Science Association • 2014 – Australian Citizen Science Association • 2017 – African & Asian Citizen Science networks Community of practice - associations
  26. 26. • Across Europe, national networks emerging Local networks emerging
  27. 27. Policy awareness and impact
  28. 28. MEASURING & EVALUATING
  29. 29. 64M UK population 14M view Blue Planet II 520,000 in RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 6,500 BTO Garden Birdwatch 65 active in BioHacking & DIY Science 74,000 regular Zooniverse participants UK Engagement Escalator This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 709443 2.1m visitors to Natural History Museum
  30. 30. Everyone Passive consumption of science Opportunistic or highly limited participation Data collection and analysis High engagement in DIY science Joining volunteer computing or thinking 7 Levels of Engagement Active consumption of science This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 709443
  31. 31. • Likely to be unhelpful, and potentially damaging interventions in citizen science evaluation
  32. 32. Citizen Science Increasing awareness to environmental or scientific issue Producing scientific outputs Achieving temporal and geographical coverage Achieving inclusiveness Increasing scientific literacy Accessing resources Creating enjoyable & engaging experiences Evaluating Citizen Science goals • Each citizen science project is a balancing act between the scientific goals, scale and depth of engagement, benefits to different stakeholders - NO PROJECT CAN DO IT ALL
  33. 33. A taxonomy on learning outcomes in citizen science projects. 3 mains categories: 1. personal development, 2. generic knowledge & skills, 3. project-specific knowledge and skills Source: Laure Kloetzer, University of Geneva
  34. 34. Public Scientists Policy Makers
  35. 35. • Citizen Science require considerations according to discipline, culture, type of activity, and level of engagement • There cannot be a “silver bullet” for evaluation, and rigid criteria can cause harm - by excluding certain activities, sending message to newcomers and innovators that “there is no space for them” etc. • Mix methods are necessary. Evaluation: sensitivity required!
  36. 36. • “preregistration” model – identify goals, levels of participation, scale and register them before a citizen science project • “Logic Model/Theory of Change” model – develop several templates for citizen science projects, adapt them for a specific project, and use for evaluation • “Key Performance Indicators” model – project designers set KPIs out of a set, and need to report on them Some possible directions
  37. 37. • Open access • 580 pages • 31 chapters • 121 authors
  38. 38. Summary • Citizen science has historical precedents, but new types of activities and participants. This is the result of societal and technical trends. • Citizen science includes a wide range of activities, and if gaining recognition among the public and within the area of research • Not everyone want deep engagement, but there are methodology for a fully participatory process • Policy and funding awareness open up new opportunities
  39. 39. Follow us: – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/excites – Twitter: @UCL_ExCiteS – Blog: http://uclexcites.wordpress.com The work of ExCiteS is supported by EPSRC, ERC, EU FP7, EU H2020, RGS, Esri, Forest People Program, Forests Monitor, WRI and all the people in communities that we’ve worked with over the years

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