SciCafe 2.0

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The SciCafe2.0 Virtual Platform will manage knowledge sharing by enabling people:

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Citizen Science

Citizen Science is defined as public participation in organised research efforts and as such has been a growing trend over the past two decades. However in recent years, increasing access to open paradigms of ICT and social innovation has been reflected in heightened scientific and public interest around this topic which has seen an emerging trend for ICT-enabled non-specialists participating in scientific research - not only in data gathering but also in interpretation and analysis. Such citizen scientists often use their free time, passion and good will to voluntarily engage in and monitor scientific processes around sustainability or societal challenges (pollution monitoring, assessment of natural resources, surveying biodiversity, and nature conservation). Recognizing the growing importance of public engagement, lay knowledge is now channelled into the research process through a growing number of initiatives being labelled as Citizen Science, or alternatively Community Science, Citizen Cyber Science, Participatory Mapping or Sensing and so on. 

Citizen science can have many shapes. Under the same heading there are huge differences in for instance power relations (who sets objectives, who benefits), sociological background of target groups (urban hipsters vs marginalized, illiterate communities), top down vs. bottom-up, conformist, reformist vs. radical transformative practices.

SciCafe 2.0 offers conceptual frameworks and The European Observatory for Crowdsourcing to help citizen science projects to effectively find their audiences.

Citizen Science has been defined as ‘the systematic collection and analysis of data, development of technology, testing of natural phenomena, and the dissemination of these activities by researchers on a primarily avocational basis’ [1]. Citizen Science may be seen as an interactive and inclusive science engagement.

The term has probably multiple origins, although one of the first authors to use it extensively was Alan Irwin in 1995 with his book Citizen Science [2].

Citizen Science combines public engagement and dissemination objectives with the scientific aims of the scientists themselves. Citizen science is in this sense a ‘win-win’ framework, getting the public to participate directly in the research process enabling them to learn more about the process of scientific enquiry.

Social sciences have developed a great interest in studying citizen science, and particularly the public-expert relationship, the experience and motivations of the participants and the learning outcome of the participants [3].

Web platforms for crowdsourcing of information are often used for performing citizen science activities. SciCafe 2.0 offers such a platform, Citizens’ Say, for the collection and exchange of information, collectively and on a peer-to-peer basis.

[1] http://www.openscientist.org

[2] Irwin, A. (1995). Citizen Science: a study of people, expertise, and sustainable development (London?; New York: Routledge).

[3] Riesch, H., Potter, C. (2014). Citizen Science as seen by scientists: Methodological, epistemological and ethical dimensions, Public Understanding of Science 23(1)