Publications including this keyword are listed below.
New public participatory modes of practice are emerging in fields as diverse as politics, healthcare and research. In part, these DIY and citizen-led initiatives have gained momentum from the optimism of new technologies, which allow unprecedented access to previously inaccessible knowledge and tools. Equally, they are the result of a growing frustration with power hierarchies and systems that reinforce elites. Experts are increasingly regarded with suspicion as trust in public institutions is eroded and individuals begin to give more weight to personal accounts, and information shared within networks of peers. In this climate there is a critical need for improved knowledge transfer practices based on improved empathy, understanding and communication of shared values and motivations. In this session we questioned the role of expertise in a changing landscape of knowledge production and practice. Using the lens of science & technology communication and hands-on DIY practices, we explored how to move towards a more inclusive model of knowledge transfer, where different types of expertise are acknowledged and valued.
Science communicators develop qualitative and quantitative tools to evaluate the ‘impact’ of their work however narrative is rarely adopted as a form of evaluation. We posit narrative as an evaluative approach for research projects with a core science communication element and offer several narrative methods to be trialled. We use citizen science projects as an example of science communication research seeking to gain knowledge of participant-emergent themes via evaluations. Storied experience of participant involvement enhances understanding of context-based and often intangible processes, such as changing place-relations, values, and self-efficacy, by enabling a reflective space for critical-thinking and self-reflection.
CONFERENCE: Citizen Science Association Conference, Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A., 17–20th May 2017
The second biennial Citizen Science Association Conference was held from the 17–20th of May 2017 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The conference is the biggest of its kind in the world and brought together more than 1,000 delegates for hundreds of conference presentations as well as workshops, panels, screenings, a hackathon and a citizen science festival. In this paper we review the history of the conference and outline the key events leading up to the 2017 conference.
This article examines certain guiding tenets of science journalism in the era of big data by focusing on its engagement with citizen science. Having placed citizen science in historical context, it highlights early interventions intended to help establish the basis for an alternative epistemological ethos recognising the scientist as citizen and the citizen as scientist. Next, the article assesses further implications for science journalism by examining the challenges posed by big data in the realm of citizen science. Pertinent issues include potential risks associated with data quality, access dynamics, the difficulty investigating algorithms, and concerns about certain constraints impacting on transparency and accountability.
The future challenges within science communication lie in a 'grey area' where the frontiers between production and sharing of knowledge are blurred. An area in which we can satisfy at the same time and within the same activity the autonomous interests of researchers and those of other stakeholders, including lay publics. Settings are emerging, where we can provide real contribution to scientific research and at the same time facilitate the publics in their process of hacking scientific knowledge to serve autonomously defined and often unpredictable functions. Some are linked to research institutes, others to science centres, others are precisely inbetween. This editorial explores why these special places are needed, and present some case studies, leading to the need of interpreting science culture centres as research facilities.
Citizen science continues to grow, potentially increasing competition among projects to recruit and retain volunteers interested in participating. Using web analytics, we examined the ability of a marketing campaign to broaden project awareness, while driving engagement and retention in an online, crowdsourced project. The campaign challenged audiences to support the classification of >9,000 pairs of images. The campaign was successful due to increased engagement, but it did not increase the time participants spent classifying images. Engagement over multiple days was significantly shorter during the campaign. We provide lessons learned to improve targeted recruitment and retention of participants in online projects.
This paper provides an analysis of the implementation and the outcomes of Scienza Attiva, an Italian national project for secondary school students, that makes use of deliberative democracy tools to address socio-scientific issues of great impact. The analysis has required a mixed method including surveys of students' pre- and post-project opinions, focus groups and interviews with students and teachers. The results from this evaluation study provide evidence that the project improves students' understanding of socio-scientific issues, strengthens their awareness of the importance of discussion and positively influences interactions in the classroom.
In today's society a variety of challenges need attention because they are considered to affect our well-being. Many of these challenges can be addressed with new innovations, yet they may also introduce new challenges. Communication of these new innovations is vital. This importance is also addressed by the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation. In the present commentary we draw on a dataset of 196 research projects and discuss the two research streams of Science Communication and Responsible Research and Innovation and how they are complements to each other. We conclude with suggestions for practitioners and scientists.
Community-based water monitoring (CBWM) provides essential baseline information on watershed health and engages the public in science, but those involved often encounter barriers to informing environmental management. We conducted qualitative interviews with watershed group coordinators and government counterparts from four CBWM organizations to explore instances where CBWM successfully influenced governmental decision-making. Our findings show that the level of rigor for quality standards, inclusion of volunteers, available resources, and desired goals are important considerations when designing community-based monitoring programs. Integrated program designs that include adequate quality standards and engage volunteers are more apt to maximize resources and realize both scientific and educational goals.
We investigate the development of scientific content knowledge of volunteers participating in online citizen science projects in the Zooniverse (http://www.zooniverse.org). We use econometric methods to test how measures of project participation relate to success in a science quiz, controlling for factors known to correlate with scientific knowledge. Citizen scientists believe they are learning about both the content and processes of science through their participation. We don't directly test the latter, but we find evidence to support the former — that more actively engaged participants perform better in a project-specific science knowledge quiz, even after controlling for their general science knowledge. We interpret this as evidence of learning of science content inspired by participation in online citizen science.