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Jan 17, 2019 Article
From citizen science to citizen action: analysing the potential for a digital platform to cultivate attachments to nature

by Nirwan Sharma, Sam Greaves, Advaith Siddharthan, Helen Anderson, Annie Robinson, Laura Colucci-Gray, Agung T. Wibowo, Helen Bostock, Andrew Salisbury, Stuart Roberts, David Slawson and Rene van der Wal

Identifying private gardens in the U.K. as key sites of environmental engagement, we look at how a longer-term online citizen science programme facilitated the development of new and personal attachments of nature. These were visible through new or renewed interest in wildlife-friendly gardening practices and attitudinal shifts in a large proportion of its participants. Qualitative and quantitative data, collected via interviews, focus groups, surveys and logging of user behaviours, revealed that cultivating a fascination with species identification was key to both ‘helping nature’ and wider learning, with the programme creating a space where scientific and non-scientific knowledge could co-exist and reinforce one another.

Volume 18 • Issue 01 • 2019 • Special Issue: User Experience of Digital Technologies in Citizen Science, 2019