Last week (July 3rd to 5th) a seminar was held at Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Centre for Informatics on the topic of “CitizenScience: Design and Engagement”. This seminar was organised by several members of the STARS4ALL project: Irene Celino (Cefriel, Italy), Oscar Corcho, (Polytecnic University of Madrid, Spain), Franz Hölker (Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Germany) and Elena Simperl (University of Southampton, UK),

 

A group of around 30 participants from all parts of the world and from different scientific disciplines discussed what Citizen Science is and how citizen scientists engage in Citizen Science projects, collaborating with professional scientists on new scientific discoveries. One of the most prominent results of these discussions will be the publication of a Citizen Science manifesto, which will be announced soon.

 

Several work groups and sessions have been held to discuss and analyse the role that Web and digital technologies are playing in the emerging models of Science, allowing an unprecedented form of participation from citizens in Science that was only possible before to a small extent. As a result, Citizen Science projects are mobilising a large number of volunteers in a wide range of scientific disciplines. For this reason, the seminar participants have explored how citizen scientists should be approached and engaged in scientific projects, not only in the capture or curation of data – the most widely form of participation so far – but also in other stages of the scientific discovery process.

 

Successful citizen science projects have for example collected information about the spread of certain species by making it easy to report sightings. Or they helped to apply the specialised knowledge of a small community, like birdwatchers, to a different area, like identifying the species of birds depicted in old paintings in digitalised art collections.

 

All the documentation and presentations that have been used over these 3 days will be available by the end of September.