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Oct 11, 2021 Article
Citizen science impact pathways for a positive contribution to public participation in science

by Artemis Skarlatidou and Mordechai Haklay

Positioning citizen science within the broader historical public engagement framework demonstrates how it has the potential to effectively tackle research and innovation issues. Citizen science approaches have their own challenges, which need to be considered in order to achieve this aim and contribute to wider and deeper public engagement. However, programme evaluations, which discuss lessons learned in engaging the public and other stakeholders with science are rare. To address this gap, we present the H2020-funded DITOs project and discuss the use of logic models in citizen science. We share the project’s assumptions, design considerations for deeper engagement and its impact pathways demonstrating how logic models can be utilised in citizen science to monitor programme effectiveness and for their successful implementation. We hope that this work will inspire citizen science practitioners to use similar tools and by doing so, share their experiences and potential barriers. This knowledge is essential for improving the way citizen science is currently practiced and its impacts to both science and society.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Agenda 2030's, “Leave no one behind”, in citizen science?

by Madeleine Montanari, Liesbet Jacobs, Mordechai Haklay, Felix Kwabena Donkor and Maria Rosa Mondardini

Citizen science (CS) is promoted as a useful practice for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this contribution we explore how CS aligns to the SDGs overarching pledge to ‘Leave no one behind’. We propose a framework to evaluate exclusionary processes in CS. We interlink three dimensions of CS inspired by existing CS typologies with five factors underpinning exclusionary processes. With this, we are able to situate existing literature on various exclusionary effects in CS within a structured framework. We hope this contribution sparks a discussion and inspires practitioners’ reflections on a more inclusive practice in CS.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Awareness, views and experiences of Citizen Science among Swedish researchers — two surveys

by Pavel Bína, Fredrik Brounéus, Dick Kasperowski, Niclas Hagen, Martin Bergman, Gustav Bohlin, Mari Jönsson, Stephen Coulson and Tim Hofmeester

In 2021 Sweden’s first national portal for citizen science will be launched to help researchers practice sustainable and responsible citizen science with different societal stakeholders. This paper present findings from two surveys on attitudes and experiences of citizen science among researchers at Swedish universities. Both surveys provided input to the development of the national portal, for which researchers are a key stakeholder group. The first survey (n=636) was exclusively focused on citizen science and involved researchers and other personnel at Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU). 63% of respondents at SLU had heard about citizen science (CS) prior to the survey; however a majority of these (61%) had not been involved in any CS initiative themselves. Dominant reasons for researchers choosing a CS approach in projects were to enable collection of large amounts of data (68%), improving the knowledge base (59%), improving data quality (25%), promote participants’ understanding in research (21%) and promote collaboration between the university and society (20%). The other survey (n=3 699) was on the broader topic of communication and open science, including questions on CS, and was distributed to researchers from all Swedish universities. 61% of respondents had not been engaged in any research projects where volunteers were involved in the process. A minority of the researchers had participated in projects were volunteers had collected data (18%), been involved in internal or external communication (16%), contributed project ideas (14%) and/or formulated research questions (11%). Nearly four out of ten respondents (37%) had heard about CS prior to the survey. The researchers were more positive towards having parts of the research process open to citizen observation, rather than open to citizen influence/participation. Our results show that CS is a far from well-known concept among Swedish researchers. And while those who have heard about CS are generally positive towards it, researchers overall are hesitant to invite citizens to take part in the research process.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Onto new horizons: insights from the WeObserve project to strengthen the awareness, acceptability and sustainability of Citizen Observatories in Europe

by Gerid Hager, Margaret Gold, Uta Wehn, Raquel Ajates, Linda See, Mel Woods, Chrysovalantis Tsiakos, Joan Masó, Dilek Fraisl, Inian Moorthy, Dahlia Domian and Steffen Fritz

WeObserve delivered the first European-wide Citizen Observatory (CO) knowledge platform to share best practices, to address challenges and to inform practitioners, policy makers and funders of COs. We present key insights from WeObserve activities into leveraging challenges to create interlinked solutions, connecting with international frameworks and groups, advancing the field through communities of practice and practitioner networks, and fostering an enabling environment for COs. We also discuss how the new Horizon Europe funding programme can help to further advance the CO concept, and vice versa, how COs can provide a suitable mechanism to support the ambitions of Horizon Europe.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Engaged Citizen Social Science or the public participation in social science research

by Rita Campos, José Monteiro and Cláudia Carvalho

Acknowledging the consolidation of citizen science, this paper aims to foster a collective debate on two visible gaps of the field. First, how to overcome the limited participation of social sciences and humanities in the broader field of citizen science, still dominated by natural sciences. Second, how to develop a citizen social science that allows for an active participation of citizens and for a critical engagement with contemporary societies. The authors coordinate a state-sponsored program of scientific dissemination within a Portuguese research institution and this paper intends to lay the groundwork for a future project of Citizen Social Science based on a new concept of “engaged citizen social science”.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Gamification for social perception: introducing scientific literacy to dabblers in citizen science

by Emilio Velis, Diego Torres and Gino Caballero

Understanding scientific concepts is a crucial factor in motivating dabblers at the start of co-created citizen science projects. This article describes PACMAC, a card-based cooperative card game aimed at introducing dabblers to hypothesis and falsifiability concepts through the visualization of a social perception map. The game was evaluated in five neighborhoods from El Salvador. The results showed that PACMAP is approachable for participants of different demographics to develop an understanding of the concepts of hypotheses and falsifiability.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 11, 2021 Article
Reaching the limits of co-creation in citizen science — exemplified by the linguistic citizen humanities project ‘On everyone’s mind and lips — German in Austria’

by Barbara Heinisch

Co-creation aims at integrating citizens in the entire research process. The citizen linguistics project German in Austria tests this approach in the humanities based on the assumption that language is ubiquitous. The project combines different forms of public participation, including a co-created format, where citizens can raise (and answer) research questions about the German language in Austria and a linguistic treasure hunt, where citizens collect and analyze data on linguistic landscapes. However, co-creation was hard to implement. Despite a high number of participants, their willingness to contribute to more than one research step was low.

Volume 20 • Issue 06 • 2021 • Special Issue: Third International ECSA Conference, Trieste 2020

Oct 04, 2021 Article
Co-benefits associated with public support for climate-friendly COVID-19 recovery policies and political activism

by Jagadish Thaker and Brian Floyd

Scientists highlight that actions that address environmental protection and climate change can also help with reducing infectious disease threats. Results using data from a national sample survey in New Zealand indicate that perceptions of co-benefits of actions to address environmental protection that also protect against infectious disease outbreaks such as the coronavirus is associated with policy support and political engagement. This association was partly mediated through perceived collective efficacy. Local councils with higher level of community collective efficacy were more likely to declare climate emergency. Communication about potential co-benefits is likely to shape public engagement and enact policy change.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Sep 29, 2021 Article
Understanding knowledge and perceptions of genome editing technologies: a textual analysis of major agricultural stakeholder groups

by Matthew Robbins, Christopher Calabrese, Jieyu Ding Featherstone and George A. Barnett

The promise of CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR) genomic editing applied to agriculture is promoted widely by scientists. We utilized textual analysis methods to compare perceptions of this innovation held by various stakeholder groups — scientists, policymakers, farmers, and the general public. Results reveal distinctions in the semantic structure and concepts emphasized across groups. Scientists and policymakers exhibited a high level of technical sophistication while emphasizing the potential societal benefits, while farmers and the general public focused on perceived personal benefits and familiarity with the issue. These results will aid development of message strategies bridging the gap between the scientific community and key publics.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021

Sep 15, 2021 Article
Science communication training as information seeking and processing: a theoretical approach to training early-career scientists

by Heather Akin, Shelly Rodgers and Jack Schultz

This study examines early-career scientists' cognition, affect, and behaviors before, during, and after a series of science communication training workshops drawing from the Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) and Theory of Planned Behavior theoretical models. We find correlations between engagement (throughout the training), self-reported knowledge and intention to apply their science communication skills. We discuss implications of these findings for science communication training, in particular that science communication behaviors and investment in skill development appear to be more dependent on attitudes and motivations cultivated during the training, rather than their attitudes and motivations coming in.

Volume 20 • Issue 05 • 2021