“Citizen science: an emerging professional field united in truth-seeking”


The biennial Citizen Science Association Conference, launched for the first time in 2014, has become the biggest of its kind, bringing together over 1,000 delegates from all over the world. In their conference review, Joseph Roche, Assistant Professor in Science Education at Trinity College Dublin) and Nicola Davis (Neuroscientist and Researcher) take a journey through the history of the conference and the key events of the 2017 edition (held 17–20th of May 2017 in Saint Paul, Minnesota).

As the authors explain, “The 2017 conference was originally scheduled to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina.” When in March 2016 “the state legislature in North Carolina passed a bill (…) that effectively removed nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public restrooms and changing facilities, the board of directors of the Citizen Science Association (…) took the decision that it could not hold a conference in a place where a law was being introduced that was in opposition to the core values of safety, accessibility and equity for the association members.”

The conference featured not only presentations but also project slams, screenings, book panel discussions, workshops, a hackathon and a citizen science festival, having as running theme the idea that “truth-seekers” are critical to science. If you would like to know more about the incredibly interesting variety of contents and themes explored during the conference don’t miss Roche and Davis’ conference review: “Citizen science: an emerging professional field united in truth-seeking”. If you’re passionate about Citizen Science you might want to have a look at the two special issues that JCOM has published on this topic in 2016, available here and here.