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European Stakeholder Round Table on Citizen and DIY Science and Responsible Research and Innovation

Authors:
  • Institute for Higher Education Research Halle-Wittenberg (HoF)
  • ARPA Sicilia; University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia

Abstract and Figures

Göbel, C., Agnello, G., Baïz, I., Berditchevskaia, A., Evers, L., García, D., Pritchard, H., Luna, S., Ramanauskaite, E. M., Serrano, F., Boheemen, P. v., Völker, T., Wyszomirski, P., Vohland, K. (2017): European Stakeholder Round Table on Citizen and DIY Science and Responsible Research and Innovation. Doing-it-Together Science Report. URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1563626 / The report is the result of an event on 8th November 2016 in Berlin. The round table has been organized by ECSA as part of the Doing-it-Together Science project (DITOs) and realized in the framework of the Berlin Science Week.
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Content may be subject to copyright.
Report
European Stakeholder Round Table
on Citizen and DIY Science and
Responsible Research and
Innovation
Edited by Claudia Göbel, Gaia Agnello and Katrin Vohland
With contributions by Imane Baïz, Aleksandra Berditchevskaia, Lucas Evers, Daniel García, Helen
Pritchard, Soledad Luna, Egle Marija Ramanauskaite, Fermín Serrano, Pieter van Boheemen, Thomas
Völker, Pawel Wyszomirski
Imprint
Göbel, C., Agnello, G., Baïz, I., Berditchevskaia, A., Evers, L., García, D., Pritchard, H., Luna, S.,
Ramanauskaite, E. M., Serrano, F., Boheemen, P. v., Völker, T., Wyszomirski, P., Vohland, K. (2017):
European Stakeholder Round Table on Citizen and DIY Science and Responsible Research and
Innovation. Doing-it-Together Science Report. URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1563626
The report is the result of an event on 8th November 2016 in Berlin. The round table has been
organized by ECSA as part of the Doing-it-Together Science project (DITOs) and realized in the
framework of the Berlin Science Week.
Acknowledgement
This report has received the support of many people that have helped to shape and do the event and
contributed to the publication. We thank all round table participants for their valuable contributions,
especially Lena Asai, Imane Baïz, Aleksandra Berditchevskaia, Martin Brocklehurst, Ron Dekker, Lucas
Evers, Philippe Galiay, Daniel García, Marc Lipinski, Soledad Luna, Helen Pritchard, Egle Marija
Ramanauskaite, Fermín Serrano, Pieter van Boheemen, Johannes Vogel, Thomas Völker and Pawel
Wyszomirski for their presentations, facilitation of discussions and written contributions as well as all
helping hands, especially Franziska Sattler, Irene Gröger and André Mascarenhas before and during
the event. We’re also grateful for the support of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin staff and
facilities.
Disclaimer
This report is an output from an event with the aim of voicing different perspectives. The viewpoints
and opinions expressed in this report solely reflect the perspectives of the authors, are not
necessarily congruent with those of the participating organizations, and do not represent official
standpoints of the participating organizations.
Photos
From contributors presentations, by Hwa Ja Götz, Aleksandra Berditchevskaia and Waag Society.
July 2017
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.
This report is accessible online at https://ecsa.citizen-science.net/documents.
Funding
This project has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and
innovation programme under grant agreement No 709433
Content
1 European round table on Citizen and DIY Science ....................................................................... 1
2 For active, scientifically literate citizens and responsible, open research processes in Europe ...... 2
3 EU Policy Agendas: RRI and Open Science ................................................................................... 4
Open Science, Citizen Science, Responsible Research and Innovation ............................................... 4
The Open Science Policy Platform and its linkages to Citizen Science ................................................ 5
4 Reflections from the field: Project examples and common ground .............................................. 6
(Bio)hacking at Technarium: What we do & where is the Citizen Science ......................................... 6
Just Good Enough Data and Citizen Sensing ....................................................................................... 7
Promoting collaboration in the emerging practice of Biodesign ........................................................ 9
5 How responsible is Citizen Science? .......................................................................................... 10
RRI in a nutshell ................................................................................................................................. 10
Responsibility in Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research .............................................................. 11
World Café: Citizen Science and RRI areas ........................................................................................ 12
6 Linking Citizen Science and DIY Science to decision makers ....................................................... 15
How can Citizen Science be relevant to policy? ................................................................................ 15
Introduction to DITOs policy work .................................................................................................... 16
Discussion: DITOs stakeholder engagement ..................................................................................... 17
Defining Biodesign: What do you think it means? ............................................................................ 18
7 Towards policy recommendations ............................................................................................ 18
DIYbio Regulations, creative and societal change potential .......................................................... 18
Cross-border cooperation for environmental sustainability ............................................................. 21
8 Synthesis ................................................................................................................................. 22
Dual Relationship between RRI and Citizen Science ......................................................................... 22
CS and DIY Science............................................................................................................................. 26
Follow-up Points for DITOs Policy Engagement and ECSA Development ......................................... 26
9 List of Participants ................................................................................................................... 28
1
1 European round table on Citizen and DIY
Science
On 8th November 2016, the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) organized the European
Stakeholder Round Table on Citizen Science (CS), Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Science and Responsible
Research and Innovation (RRI) at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin as part of the Doing-it-Together
Science (DITOs) project. More than 50 participants took part in the one day event and contributed
their perspectives on CS and DIY Science as stakeholders from science, communication, government,
business, civil society and art. The event was part of Berlin Science Week accompanying the Falling
Walls conference and linked to a Soirée on Public Participation in Bioinnovation at the museum as
well as meetings of the ECSA Policy Working Group and DITOs consortium.
The round table was the first of a series of stakeholder events with the objective of improving the
link between CS and DIY Science and decision makers. The specific aims of this workshop were:
Develop joint understandings of CS, DIY Science, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI),
and related concepts,
Map and analyse the links between these concepts,
Clarify the understanding of roles of the different stakeholders and actors,
Discuss needs and barriers of stakeholders to implement RRI in CS and DIY Science projects,
Start working on DITOs policy papers and their underlying concepts, on Biodesign and
environmental sustainability,
Informing about DITOs and possibilities to get involved.
Throughout the DITOs project (June 2016 May 2019), ECSA and its members will coordinate
European and national stakeholder round tables on cross-cutting RRI issues, such as gender equality
and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, ethics, the involvement of SMEs and industry, and
methods of evaluating DITOs activities.
Doing-it-together science, coordinated by Muki Haklay (UCL), is a Horizon 2020 project aiming to
support the CS and DIY Science communities and increase public participation in science by means of
a diverse range of events organized across Europe by the 11 European partners of the consortium.
Key approach of DITOs is the idea of an escalator of participative activities: Depending on resources
(times, skills, interest, etc.) available to (potential) participants, DITOs partners develop appropriate
event formats in order to bring more people into contact with science. The thematic focus of the
project lies on BioDesign and environmental sustainability. Event formats can be science cafes,
workshops, exhibitions travelling on the science bus, BioBlitzes or lab experiments. A careful
evaluation scheme is tightly linked to event development and testing in order to analyse synergies
and constraints. In total, about 500 events are planned throughout Europe for the three-year-funding
period. ECSA is responsible for leading the work on stakeholder engagement for RRI, mobilizes
members’ capacities for contributing activities related to environmental sustainability and acts as
legacy institution ensuring that the results and networks created are useful beyond the duration of
the project.
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2 For active, scientifically literate citizens and
responsible, open research processes in Europe
In her introduction to the round table, Dr. Katrin Vohland, Director of the Research Programme
„Public Engagement with Science“ and Executive Chair of the European Citizen Science Association
(ECSA), reflected on the importance and challenges for CS in the current situation in Europe. Two
opposing trends that can be observed: On one hand, science appears to be firmly established in
European societies. More people than ever attend universities, newspapers have their own science
sections, science festivals grow everywhere, and there is a boom in Citizen Science, do-it-yourself
science, FabLabs and other forms of participatory knowledge creation and innovation. Scientific
evidence plays an increasing role in political decisions, at least science-policy platforms that promote
such aims multiply, e.g. the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
(IPBES).
On the other hand, increasing scepticism towards science can be observed. While critical discussions,
e.g. on the representation of different knowledge systems or access to the benefits of science and
technology, and scrutiny regarding scientific integrity are much needed for healthy research systems.
Caution is warranted when overly emotional rhetoric and populism gain ground, like when narratives
of a post-truth or post-factual age take hold. Another observation is a coming-back of autocratic
regimes in Europe, in which scientific freedom is already massively restricted.
In this situation, endeavours like the DITOs project aiming to engage more people in science are
much more political than the list of fancy events might indicate at first sight: Their ultimate goal
and underlying reason is to increase the number of active, scientifically literate citizens in Europe and
responsible, open research processes. One very promising and to-date rapidly growing entry point to
enhance public engagement with science is Citizen Science. At the European level, for instance, the
ECSA has grown to about 200 individual and institutional members in only four years. Members are
united by the idea to strengthen and reflect on Citizen Science approaches. A key achievement in this
work has been the formulation of the 10 Principles of Citizen Science (see next page) which highlight
both scientific quality and transparent, equitable cooperation. A main challenge of this expanding
field is to become even more inclusive; not only with regard to geography, gender and age as
addressed for example in the above mentioned COST Action; but also with regard to links between
activities with different levels of engagement, the involvement of decision makers and a joint
understanding of the societal challenges to be addressed. DITOs, in which ECSA is a key member,
offers a great platform to stimulate and guide work on these and other questions over the next three
years. We’re delighted to have you here and are looking forward to a productive exchange!
3
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin - A capacity hub for Citizen Science in Germany and Europe
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is a
research museum, built up on the natural
history collections once created by the
Humboldt University and with major
contributions by amateur naturalists, and since
2009 a member of the Leibniz Association. It
currently houses about 30 million objects.
Research is conducted in the natural sciences
and related questions on earth history or
biodiversity change as well as in social sciences
and humanities. In this latter research area, which studies and reflects on the dual role of the
museum as institution of science communication as well as scientific knowledge production, Citizen
Science understood as contributions of citizens in any part of the scientific process has become a
major focus of activity in recent years. The museum has, for instance, taken a leading role in
promoting Citizen Science in Germany as co-lead of the German CS platform Bürger schaffen
wissen (Citizens create knowledge), hosts the Headquarters of the European Citizen Science
Association and chairs the COST Action “Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and
innovation throughout Europe”.
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
https://www.naturkundemuseum.berlin/en
Bürger schaffen Wissen, platform presenting CS projects in Germany.
http://www.buergerschaffenwissen.de/en
European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), European network of CS institutions and researchers.
http://ecsa.citizen-science.net/
COST Action CS to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe.
http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/ca/CA15212
10 Principles of Citizen Science
Ten statements that have been developed by the ECSA ‘Sharing best practice and building capacity’
working group, led by the Natural History Museum London with input from many members of the
Association, to set out some of the key principles which as a community we believe underlie good
practice in Citizen Science. To be accessible as a tool in Europe and around the world, many
volunteers have translated the principles into their local languages 26 at present. The current 10
principles are not meant to be fixed or exclusive if you find an aspect of CS is not captured (well),
ECSA is happy to learn what would be your 11th principle! Members and working groups at ECSA have
also started several initiatives to apply the principles to specific focus areas, such as developing CS
apps and platforms. If you are interested in learning more or carrying this work further, please get in
touch!
http://ecsa.citizen-science.net/documents
4
3 EU Policy Agendas: RRI and Open Science
DITOs work to support citizen and DIY Science seeks to contribute to make research and innovation
in Europe more responsible and open to members of the public. We do this, on the one hand,
through organizing public events that demonstrate and test exemplary engagement and co-creation
formats as well as through capacity building in the CS and DIY Science communities. On the other
hand, we invite stakeholders to share their expectations of, concerns with and needs for
participatory research in order to channel these inputs to decision makers and advocate for
improved conditions for Citizen and DIY Science. Part of this stakeholder engagement work is focused
at European policy and consists in both campaigning for more support for CS from Brussels and
making policy agendas of the European Commission (EC) accessible to CS projects. Two policy
agendas are particularly relevant for CS at the moment: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)
and Open Science. We invited EC representatives to outline some of the hooks these programmes
provide for CS projects and give their perspectives on the future role of CS in EC research and
innovation policy.
Open Science, Citizen Science, Responsible Research and Innovation
In the keynote, Dr. Philippe Galiay, DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission,
discussed the relation between the concepts of Open Science, RRI and CS, linking to current
European policy agendas. Under Commissioner Carlos Moedas, promoting Open Science has become
a major focus for European research and innovation policy, and CS is seen as an integral part. Citizen
scientists significantly contribute and are recognized as valid knowledge producers of European
science”. Over the last years, the European Commission has supported various CS initiatives through
their work in the fields in research, infrastructure and environment. Examples include funding Citizen
Observatories, supporting the elaboration of a White Paper on Citizen Science for Europe through
the Socientize project, various JRC activities and consulting with CS networks like ECSA. Following a
stakeholder consultation, CS has now also become one of the eight policy ambitions on the Open
Science agenda and is represented in the advisory body Open Science Policy Platform (see below).
“Citizen Science can contribute
to the Commission’s goal of
RRI, as it reinforces public
engagement and can re-direct
research agendas towards
issues of concern to citizens”.
In order to translate this overarching policy agenda into action, CS initiatives are supported through
the Horizon2020 funding scheme. Most relevant here are two funding lines: (1) ‘Science with and for
Society’ (SwafS) through which the EC aims to build effective cooperation between science and
society, recruit new talents for science and pair scientific excellence with social awareness and
5
responsibility; (2) RRI through which the EC promotes public engagement, gender equality, science
education, ethics and open access as cross-cutting issues in Horizon2020. Looking closer at the
concrete funding calls and selected projects in these programs, we see a trajectory from a wider
focus on public engagement in research policy making in the past (e.g. through the Voice and
Simulact projects) with public participation in research rather being the exception (e.g. in DITOs)
towards more explicit mentions and an increase of dedicated calls open to CS approaches in the
current work program (see resources below) expected to expand over the next years. The EC is going
to evaluate their activities on SwafS and RRI against the percentage of projects where citizens, Civil
Society Organisations (CSOs) and other societal actors contribute to the co-creation of scientific
agendas and scientific contents as well as institutional change, which is where also CS will have to
prove impact. Galiay emphasizes that beyond SwafS and RRI, citizen engagement in many forms is
supported by a large variety of activities in the European Commission, which makes it worth to look
around.
Open Science Agenda of the European Commission.
http://ec.europa.eu/research/openscience/index.cfm?pg=home
Responsible Research and Innovation Agenda of the European Commission.
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/responsible-research-innovation
Science with and for Society programme with link to related funding calls and projects.
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/science-and-society
The Open Science Policy Platform and its linkages to Citizen Science
Ron Dekker, Secretary General of the Open
Science Policy Platform at the European
Commission, DG Research and Innovation,
introduced the Open Science Policy Platform
(OSPP). This expert body advising the
European Commission on Open Science was
created in order to support further
development of the European Open Science
agenda and to promote the uptake of best
practices. It involves stakeholders, such as
universities and research organizations,
academies of science, funding organizations, publishers, libraries and ECSA as Citizen Science
association with Prof. Johannes Vogel, ECSA Chair, chairing the OSPP.
Dekker stressed that Open Science demands a completely new approach to the scientific process.
Collaborative work and continuously increasing technological development that allow new ways of
diffusing knowledge motivate a shift from the traditional focus of publishing as fast as possible to
sharing knowledge as early as possible. He sees the link between Open Science and Citizen Science
founded in a perspective on research and innovation as ecosystems that require inclusiveness to
strive: Only through incorporation of diversity of expertise, technologies and infrastructures as well
as cooperation in Europe and internationally can today’s complex societal and grand challenges be
6
solved. The major contribution of CS for making research more open is, first, through collecting and
analyzing large amounts of research data. Second, CS is key for enhancing the impact of research.
The latter is currently limited to scientific impact among peers and limited by taking the Journal
Impact Factor as the main indicator. However real impact deals with science, innovation, society and
education and this is where CS can make a difference, especially since now funders are also seeking
to increase the return on their investments. In sum, CS is one approach to better connect science
with innovation and to the world and thus contributes to promote openness as principle for research
in Europe.
Open Science Policy Platform.
http://ec.europa.eu/research/openscience/index.cfm?pg=open-science-policy-platform
4 Reflections from the field: Project examples
and common ground
To make the big variety of old and new participatory research projects out there more tangible, three
Lightning Talks were dedicated to learn about concrete CS and DIY Science activities. The invited
experts gave examples how responsibility and openness are relevant to their work in hacking, sensing
and BioDesign projects and shared their reflections on common ground between the CS and DIY
Science communities.
(Bio)hacking at Technarium: What we do & where is the Citizen
Science
- by Egle Marija Ramanauskaite, Technarium hackerspace & Human Computation Institute
In this talk I presented the type of (bio)hacking we do at Technarium hackerspace (Lithuania), and
how our activities are linked to CS. The main aim was to introduce all stakeholders at the roundtable
to the real activities that happen at hackerspaces, and start building more effective bridges between
the different communities.
To begin with, I described two specific examples at Technarium biolab that work at the intersection
of biohacking and CS, and are only possible because of it: lichen biohacking and bryozoan research
completely grassroots initiatives brought forward by our community. Additionally, I spoke about one
specific example where grassroots and “top-down” initiatives meet, i.e. a cheap camera trap project
that has been suggested to us by academic CS project owners working in wildlife conservation. Lastly,
I pointed out that with access to a variety of newest technologies (3D printers, CNCs, ceramics studio
etc.) we are very well equipped to develop tools for CS, enabling new research and making projects
more accessible.
Therefore, as biohackers, we already see ourselves as doing CS and being part of the community.
However, due to different labels (self-assigned or not) some of us are not always included. This is
7
amplified by the fact that most of us are DIY-type hobbyists who cannot come to expensive
conferences or attend meetings on workdays.
How can the CS community (ECSA and beyond) work together with
existing (bio)hacker communities
to make the communication & collaboration easier?
In any case, at Technarium we already see major links between CS & hacking we have the same
goals, similar ethos and could work together for a common benefit.
Contacts. @Seplute @Technarium emramanauskaite@gmail.com
Technarium Blog. http://blog.technariumas.lt/
Etherpad to continue the conversation between CS and DIY Science communities.
https://pad.okfn.org/p/DIY-citizenscience
Just Good Enough Data and Citizen Sensing
- by Jennifer Gabrys and Helen Pritchard, Citizen Sense, Goldsmiths, University of London
Drawing on participatory and practice-based research methods, the Citizen Sense research project
held a series of discussions and monitoring events with residents living next to hydraulic fracturing
(or fracking) infrastructure during 2013 to 2015. Through this collaborative process, we developed
the Citizen Sense Kit for the citizen-based monitoring of air quality in the region. The Citizen Sense Kit
was developed in response to the concerns of community members, who provided information via
Citizen Sense “logbooks” that asked for input on what the key concerns were for natural gas
infrastructure in relation to air pollution.
After a period of developing the Citizen Sense Kit with participants, the Citizen Sense research project
deployed the kits in October 2014 with a workshop and walk to field test the technologies. The
Citizen Sense research team then undertook visits to participants’ monitoring locations to help set up
the technologies, and participants developed a number of situations and experiments to monitor
areas of particular concern to them.
The Citizen Sense Kit was used by a wide range of residents living near infrastructure, and also taken
up by a local group, Breathe Easy Susquehanna County (BESC), which was interested to document
changes in the environment particularly in relation to air quality. The kit attempted to provide
accessible and unobtrusive ways for participants to document pollution events and experiences, and
to observe patterns and relations that emerged from collected environmental data.
Citizen Sense. http://citizensense.net.
Citizen Sense Kit. http://citizensense.net/kits/citizensense-kit
8
“Just good enough data”
While environmental data was collected and logged on the Citizen Sense Airsift platform, some
participants began to notice patterns in their own data, particularly in the particulate matter data
sets. Although in the view of the regulators the data generated by the Citizen Sense research project
was not comparable to AQI air quality data, it was however “just good enough” (Gabrys, Pritchard,
Barratt, 2016) for the participants to read together with state-collected air quality data and locally
collected wind data from Weather Underground. The distribution of devices also contributed to
drawing together evidence of local sources of particulate matter that were possibly emissions from
fracking infrastructure.
“Just good enough data” is a phrase and concept that we use here to address issues of accuracy in
relation to citizen-collected data, and to expand the types of uses that might accompany these new
types of data. “Just good enough data” draws attention to attempts to counter the reliance on high
levels of measurement accuracy as the sole criterion by which data are evaluated. What different
practices emerge when environmental data are engaged with in a more indicative register? What do
these practices enable? And what other relations, connections and points of focus might “just good
enough data” generate?
Citizen Data as Evidence
Data that emerged through these techniques further became a useful negotiation tool. It was used to
arrange a number of conference calls with regulatory bodies such as the Center for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the
Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), and non-profit environmental organisations as well as
local political representatives. Although responses to the citizen-collected data ran the spectrum
from outright dismissal to interest, there was just enough evidence to lead to one environmental
agency requesting that local monitoring be undertaken, something which BESC participants had been
campaigning for since the inception of their organisation.
Citizen-produced data sets are often declared to be inaccurate due to the devices used, illegitimate
due to the protocols followed, and unscientific due to perceived community bias, such as citizens
monitoring to create deliberate evidence for pollution events (cf. Gabrys, 2016; Gabrys and
Pritchard, 2015). However, citizen sensing is also an entry point for testing the claims about the ease
of participation that next-generation environmental sensors are meant to offer, as well as for
developing expanded aspects of monitoring, data collection and environmental politics, which might
allow communities to engage more readily with environmental problems.
References
Gabrys, Jennifer. “Practicing, Materialising and Contesting Environmental Data.” Big Data & Society vol. 3, no. 2 (2016): 1-7.
Gabrys, Jennifer, Helen Pritchard, Benjamin Barratt. “Just Good Enough Data: Figuring Data Citizenships through Air
Pollution Sensing and Data Stories.” Big Data & Society vol. 3, no. 2 (2016): 1-14.
Gabrys, Jennifer and Helen Pritchard. “Next-Generation Environmental Sensing: Moving Beyond Regulatory Benchmarks for
Citizen-Gathered Data.” Draft conference proceedings for “Environmental Infrastructures and Platforms 2015 –
Infrastructures and Platforms for Environmental Crowd Sensing and Big Data Proceedings of the Workshop,” as part of the
European Citizen Science Association General Assembly 2015 (ECSA GA’ 2015), Barcelona, Spain, October 28-30 October,
2015, edited by Arne J. Berre, Sven Schade, and Jaume Piera (draft version published October 2015), 57-65.
9
Promoting collaboration in the emerging practice of Biodesign
- by Imane Baïz, Université Paris Descartes (UPD), Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity
(CRI Paris)
The lightning talk discussed how the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) focuses on
promoting interdisciplinarity in the field of Biodesign. We believe inclusion provides more citizens
with the chance to be part of the process of making research and innovation happen.
Interdisciplinary projects have also the potential to bridge the gap between research and society,
using different vocabulary and practices compared to traditional research.
Responsibility of research is to
provide the chance for more
citizens/stakeholder to be part
of the process of making, using
and communication of scientific
knowledge.
At CRI, Biodesign is understood as an approach which mixes that of design and modern life sciences,
engineering and art. In our projects, such as Biodesign NightScience, iGAMER, High School
Workshops and Co-lab Biodesign Workshops, we experiment and showcase how new relationships
between members of the public, scientists, artists and designers nurture skills and provide new
perspectives. The real issue is how to sustain interests in collaborative projects for the long term. To
address this, we do not only organize events to inform citizen about Biodesign, but actively provide
opportunities for them to get hands-on experience. We believe it is our responsibility to empower
citizens, e.g. through giving tools to citizens to do DIY science. Through our contributions to the
DITOs project, we aim to propose new models of research by introducing public debates and social
uses of science in the laboratories. Collaboration is a motivational force to revolutionize scientific
methodologies to open up new avenues for
science. New relationships and diverse
group dynamics equip participants with
various skills. In such situations, citizens
can become catalysts, debaters or
actualizes to provide alternate approaches
to science.
Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity
Paris. http://cri-paris.org/
10
5 How responsible is Citizen Science?
One main aim of the round table was to explore the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation
and how it can be linked to Citizen Science. Daniel García started with an introduction to the concept
of RRI by prompting participants to interrogate their work for levels of inclusiveness, diversity,
responsiveness and in other dimensions. Thomas Völker shared reflections on responsibility in the
field of transdisciplinary research and drew links to Citizen Science. In a world café participants
shared their experiences and views on how public engagement, open access, ethics, education and
governance in Citizen Science are and can become more responsible.
RRI in a nutshell
- by Daniel García, RRI Tools project, La Caixa Foundation
The principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are spreading across Europe and
beyond, looking for a science and technology system more aligned with society’s needs and values.
Citizen science is supposed to be responsible because it already takes lay people on board. However,
RRI goes further and invites us to consider whether our Citizen Science projects are responsible
enough. For doing so, we might need to ask ourselves questions such as: Are we including citizens
only for collecting more data in a cheaper way or are we treating them as equal partners in the
project? Do all participants clearly know and agree on their roles in the project and how the project is
defined? Are we including all voices - especially the silent ones - in our project? Are we able to
change our project plans in response to society’s changing views and opinions? Is our project
economically and environmentally sustainable? Are we handling data in an ethically acceptable way?
Are we contributing to solve some of the societal challenges our society faces today? Are we
reflecting on and anticipating the unintended consequences of our project? By considering these and
other questions, which lie at the heart of the RRI concept, we will boost our Citizen Science projects
and become more responsible actors. Actors can find resources to apply RRI in their Citizen Science
project in the RRI Toolkit online.
For acting more
responsibly, only including
citizens is not enough.
RRI Toolkit at website of RRI Tools project. http://www.rri-tools.eu
11
Responsibility in Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research
- by Dr. Thomas Völker, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre
The aim of my talk ‘Responsibility in Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research’ was twofold: First, the
talk situated current debates about Citizen Science, DIY Science and Responsible Research and
Innovation (RRI) within a broader historic context of ongoing debates about changing relations
between science and society (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 1998; Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1992; Nowotny,
Scott, & Gibbons, 2001) and the establishment of ‘spaces for collective experimentation’ (Felt,
Igelsböck, Schikowitz, & Völker, 2016; Felt & Wynne 2007) and stressed some of the common
threads that can be found throughout these debates. Second, by using the exemplar of a
transdisciplinary sustainability research funding program (proVISION), I intended to direct attention
to some of the tensions that emerge when the ideas and ideals of collaborative or participatory
knowledge production are enacted in day-to-day research practices. For doing so I drew on materials
gathered in a three-year research project at the University of Vienna called ‘Transdisciplinarity as
Culture and Practice’.
I showed how the funding scheme’s objectives of ‘making knowledge available’ for dealing with
contemporary problems by establishing a ‘new science culture’ based on the principle of ‘responsible
care’ resonates with ideas present in current RRI discourse (Owen, Macnaghten, & Stilgoe, 2012) and
stressed the tensions that arose when researchers and their so-called ‘extra-scientific partners’ tried
to enact these ideals in their research collaborations.
I argued that the findings of this research on transdisciplinary knowledge production can be useful
also for thinking about Citizen Science and DIY Science (and for DITOs in particular). The findings of
this research make clear that it is necessary to keep in mind the multiplicity of forms of collaboration.
There is no such thing as a single coherent and unified version of transdisciplinary research just as
there is no Citizen Science’. It follows that in order to understand the possibilities and constraints of
such forms of collaborative knowledge production it is necessary to focus on the concrete and locally
situated practices and on the conditions that are co-emergent with particular modes of
collaboration.
References
Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1998). The Endless Transition: A "Triple Helix" of University - Industry - Government
Relations. Minerva, 36, 203-208.
Felt, U., Igelsböck, J., Schikowitz, A., & Völker, T. (2016). Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Practice: Between
Imaginaries of Collective Experimentation and Entrenched Academic Value Orders. Science, Technology & Human
Values. doi:10.1177/0162243915626989
Felt, U., & Wynne , B. (2007). Taking European Knowledge Society Seriously. Report to the Expert Group on Science and
Governance to the Science, Economy and Society Directorate, Directorate-General for Research, European
Commission.
Funtowicz, S., & Ravetz, J. (1992). Three Types of Risk Assessment and the Emergence of Post-Normal Science. Westport:
Praeger.
Nowotny, H., Scott, P., & Gibbons, M. (2001). Re-thinking Science. Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty.
Cambridge: Polity Press.
Owen, R., Macnaghten, P., & Stilgoe, J. (2012). Responsible Research and Innovation: From Science in Society to Science for
Society, with Society. Science and Public Policy, 39(6), 751-760.
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World Café: Citizen Science and RRI areas
- by Fermín Serrano, Foundation Ibercivis, Chair ECSA Working Group on CS and RRI
The main goal of the world café was to promote reflections and two-way dialogue between key
stakeholders representing different communities in the context of Citizen Science and RRI. Outputs
will be used for the policy paper on RRI that ECSA is preparing. Five tables where designed following
key issues on Citizen Science and major features of RRI. During the introduction, some key issues
were outlined in order to raise deeper reflections among participants. We brought together more
than 50 Citizen Science experts, practitioners and policy makers from all around Europe. However,
the lack of cultural diversity was mentioned several times. Participants were invited to balance
considerations for the EU scale while considering the features of each specific project and local
environments.
Table 1 Public engagement & inclusion & gender equality
It is recommended to expand current academic reputation systems and evaluation criteria to account
for social impact and engagement. Finding alternative metrics and incentives for scientific curricula
that recognize social engagement may help to support this. We need measurement indicators and
metrics to assess public engagement activities and the impact achieved at different levels (scientific,
societal, economic, environmental, behavioral…) for the wide range of projects of Citizen Science.
What are the most innovative cases of significant collaborations with independent citizen scientists?
Why? Could you implement them in your context?
Participants collected examples of what
works well and what doesn’t regarding
public engagement, inclusion and
gender equality in CS. DIY Science
spaces and hackspaces have been
mentioned as good examples of
inclusiveness for their horizontal
organization. People can appear
without scientific knowledge and they
get exposed to scientific thinking; no
leaders, no agenda, they just come to
give it a try. Another example was mentioned from the Far East where there are many environmental
problems and scientific communities are working with people who are affected by problems which
are subject of research. It was suggested that if researchers want to study a problem, e.g. dementia
or air pollution, they should talk directly with the people involved. “It is about the repeated sentence:
nothing about us without us”.
Among the things to improve in CS regarding engagement, inclusion and gender equality, it was
observed that some Citizen Science projects are very much oriented towards rather intellectual
circles, not economically or socially diverse ones. The fact of doing CS activities in a university or in a
museum leads to thoughts like “I’m going to see my friends in the pub instead”. As a result, cultural
diversity of some CS projects is not very good and this becomes a massive issue.
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As positive example Open Air Laboratories was mentioned, who mix top-down and bottom-up
approaches to engagement. It was also discussed that environmental problems quite often happen
to be raised by communities and by the time local the government starts to do something about the
problem, it costs 10 times as much as it would have when the problem was first raised by the
community. So listening to communities and involving them can save money for public authorities.
Table 2 Open Access & ethics
Citizen Science implies handling data in a very sensible way, taking into account intellectual property
rights, fundamental personal data protection rights, ethical standards, legal requirements and
scientific data quality. Clear ethical guidelines and appropriate data licenses are needed for EU-wide
data policy.
Even if research data is made open, are there reasons to place restrictions on how the date is used by
downstream users?
Participants recommended that, in
general, restrictions on data
availability should be defined by the
research questions of each CS
project, which in turn should be
defined by all project participants,
naturally including citizens. Besides
that, Citizen Science projects should
try to make collected data as openly
accessible as possible, except for
sensitive personal data and
environmental information (e.g.,
location of endangered species).
Policy makers, especially at European level, should open up the discussion on how open data can be
used by private companies for products or services subject to restrictive licenses (copyright, patents,
etc.). This is one recurrent concern from the research community regarding open science: “does
open science mean companies will make profit with our findings without having to pay anything for
accessing our results, methods and data?”
Table 3 Science Education
Educational programs should stress collaboration between schools and scientific institutions, which
needs to be reflected in scientific and educational value systems. These plans should cover key aspects
of Citizen Science.
What are the best cases of CS education that link with RRI? Why?
Participants stressed that education is both a prerequisite and an output of Citizen Science projects.
The pre-existing level of education of participants as well as the information required to get engaged
in a given project need to be considered as input in the process, while participation in turn also
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increases knowledge. Techniques used in science education can also be considered in CS endeavors.
As main difficulties participants identified different levels of interest of participants, cultural barriers,
time available and resources in general.
This table also raised the need of two-way discussions between participants and project organizers
from the very beginning of CS projects in order to frame the research problem and agenda so that
they align with the real needs of the people. When addressing indicators for education in CS it should
be remembered that accounting has to be accountable. As good example for science education
student universities and science shops have been mentioned. They embed real-world problems in
education to identify the question and students to work with concerned communities. Regarding the
sustainability of CS projects it was stressed that if CS endeavors are to continue after the funding
period of a project, it should be more than only about data. There must be a follow-up where the
citizens themselves keep the education process on.
Table 4 Governance & sustainability
Early involvement of different stakeholders in project design processes is important in order to
understand the different experiences and challenges of participating groups and to adapt project
designs accordingly.
What are the best cases of institutional change and uptake indicators for Citizen Science and RRI?
Discussions focused on the nature of structural reforms needed to increase public engagement in
science and what engagement should mean, especially for research institutions. It was asked how to
involve people and connect institutions in such a way that leads to better, citizen-based science?
Participants identified training for researchers in science communication as need to work to
openness. “We have to make institutions more open. Only one open-doors day is clearly not enough,
we need to enrich the contact with the people.”
Regarding indicators it was recommended to focus on quality, not on quantity as it is the case now,
since researchers are promoted without considering the way that research is done with
communities. Also, in order to find meaningful Indicators, a first question is to decide for whom they
would be meaningful.
Table 5 Open table
An open table was dedicated to overarching questions linking CS and RRI, e.g. is Citizen Science
responsible? What should we do to be responsible?
Among other topics, participants discussed examples and benefits of structured vs. less structured
projects in CS, DIY Science and bio art; limitations of approachability in how H2020-funded projects
are built, e.g. deliverables; how to overcome institutional barriers; where art, as production of
meaning, and science, as production of knowledge, can come together; as well as relevance and
excellence of research and how they can be realized within and outside of institutions.
15
6 Linking Citizen Science and DIY Science to
decision makers
Martin Brocklehurst opened the second interactive session by giving an overview of the activities of
the ECSA Working Group on Policy, Strategy and Partnerships and outlined key challenges for Citizen
Science at the European level. Claudia Göbel introduced policy engagement activities in the DITOs
project. In three break-out groups participants discussed policy priorities for DITOs with Aleksandra
Berditchevskaia, definitions of Biodesign with Imane Baïz and Lena Asai, and ECSA policy-related
work with Martin Brocklehurst.
How can Citizen Science be relevant to policy?
The ECSA Working Group on Policy, Strategy and Partnerships has three main objectives as defined in
the Brussels workshop in the autumn of 2013: (1) Assess the CS landscape and develop strategies
across countries, (2) Approach policy makers and assess how to influence decisions and leverage
funding, (3) Analyze who the key stakeholders are and who ECSA needs to engage with to bring
about change in sectors. Activities of the Working Group in the past years included several policy
briefings at the European Union. Since 2014, the Working Group is in contact with DG Environment,
DG Connect and DG Research. In 2015, a lunch time seminar was held at the European Commission
and in 2016 the group conducted a briefing for Members of the European Parliament.
Martin Brocklehurst asked how to increase the support for CS by EU policy makers. He pointed to the
government support for Citizen Science in the United States highlighting the White House’s
statement on the significance of CS and the platform citizenscience.gov that presents CS projects
realized together with US agencies. In the EU we find a great potential to engage many people in
research. He identifies seven key challenges for Citizen Science in Europe:
How do we mainstream Citizen Science into the European Union policy process and exceed
the US White House achievements with their Federal Agencies?
How do we achieve a “Platform” for Citizen Science within the EU chaired by senior political
figures to map out how to mainstream Citizen Science into the policy work of the
Commission?
How can we establish policy leads on Citizen Science in key EU Directorates and within the
EU Parliament to work with ECSA and to support engagement?
Most EU Directives or Regulations do not recognize Citizen Science. Many provide real
barriers to the use of Citizen Science data. How do we change the status quo?
How do we establish common templates that policy makers can use to make
recommendations on where Citizen Science makes sense in future Directives?
How do we establish and maintain a common European data base system that citizens can
use to store data and interrogate?
How do we create robust institutional frameworks to encourage Citizen Science?
Based on these challenges, the Working Group will work towards encouraging the EU to recognize
the role of CS in: EU Environmental Monitoring and Reporting, meeting and reporting on the UN
Sustainability Goals, and as an early warning on key environmental challenges. Two initiatives are just
16
forming to advance this work: a sub-group on linking serval national Mosquito monitoring projects in
Europe that is also working with the partners in the US and supported by UNEP. Another sub-group
will explore EU environmental policy areas where an existing CS project could be demonstrated at
European scale.
Introduction to DITOs policy work
Next to public engagement, the DITOs project also seeks to create guidelines, mechanisms and
institutions to extend the development of policy engagement in Citizen and DIY Science across
Europe, fostering RRI, linking the pan-European Citizen and DIY Science communities to decision
makers at various levels. There will be four types of activities for that purpose:
A fact finding and review exercise of good practice and policy guidelines to develop an
evidence base for DITOs policy engagement activities.
A series of Policy Briefs to provide information for decision makers on pertinent issues from
the field of Biodesign and Environmental Sustainability as well as the RRI-related topics
gender equality and inclusion, ethics and quality evaluation, involvement of SMEs and
industry in DITOs, open access, open data, and open science.
Events to present and review good practice and discuss with stakeholders including
Stakeholder round tables, Discovery Trips with policy makers, a perspectives on Citizen
Science conference and a Pan-European Policy Forum.
Institution building for ECSA to ensure DITOs legacy and sustainability through linking DITOs
activities to the ECSA network.
For all of them contributions are very welcome, please get in touch with the DITOs team.
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Discussion: DITOs stakeholder engagement
- by Dr. Aleksandra Berditchevskaia, Tekiu
When it comes to discussions of the long-term sustainability of Citizen Science, the 3 core issues of
funding, infrastructure support and validation tend to dominate. The interactive session allowed
roundtable participants to elaborate on these and other topics by suggesting policy priorities for the
DITOs project to focus on in the next 3 years. The group contributed the following list:
1. Creating communication channels and infrastructure for sharing of results and methods
within Citizen Science community.
2. Engaging local government authorities to support Citizen Science and carry out pilot projects.
3. Writing Citizen Science into legislation and policy. (e.g. European version of US Bill on Citizen
Science).
4. Funding support through better relationships with institutions and adapting indicators and
evaluation criteria where relevant.
5. Official validation and recognition of the value of Citizen Science, both for participating
communities and academics.
6. Provision of facilities, equipment and training through improved relationships with
universities and industry.
7. Not losing sight of the grassroots and opening up dialogues around policy.
In addition, during the session possible future scenarios for Citizen Science in Europe were
considered - a thought experiment that allowed the group to confront some hopes and concerns. For
the best-case scenarios participants imagined widespread recognition of complimentary roles for
Citizen Science and traditional academia in the scientific endeavor, with funding schemes adapted to
enable access by community stakeholders. As a counterpoint, it was imagined the negative
consequence of cuts to research funding due to promotion of Citizen Science as frugal (or free)
science and the possibility that the Citizen Science movement will lose momentum if negative
publicity around safety concerns of DIYbio is not fairly balanced with its positive potential.
How can we bring grassroots and institutions into dialogue with each
other to resolve issues of funding, legitimacy, infrastructure and
reciprocity in the long term?
A recurring theme throughout the discussions was the need to improve the relationship between
grassroots and institutions. All of the issues highlighted as priorities can only be confronted if time is
invested in developing the links between communities and universities, funders, regulators and
policy makers.
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Defining Biodesign: What do you think it means?
- by Imane Baïz, Université Paris Descartes (UPD), Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity
(CRI Paris)
Biodesign is an emerging field that needs a commonly agreed definition. This workshop served as a
starting point for a very fruitful discussion that contributed to better contextualize Biodesign in
Citizen Science. First, it was outlined the importance of creating a framework for Biodesign in order
to ensure common understanding and efficient communication. Definitions and approaches of
Biodesign provided by DITOs consortium partners were discussed, and current fields and concepts
related to Biodesign reviewed, such as biomimicry and cross-disciplinarily in arts and sciences.
Participants exchanged about their views and insights on Biodesign, such as for example the
importance of involving the DIYbio community and grassroots in general, but also the need
for Biodesign event’s organizers to adapt their vocabulary and labelling for each activity according to
the target audiences (i.e., for children partners could use the terms “make, create, experiment, play
with biology”).
Defining Biodesign working document. Google Doc
7 Towards policy recommendations
One of the objectives of the DITOs project is developing a policy engagement strategy to raise
awareness on the value of active participation of citizens in science. The strategy is implemented via
different events formats and activities, including stakeholder round tables at local and European
scale, a Policy Forum, Discovery Trips and policy briefs on six different topics.
The stakeholder round table closed with two parallel workshops aimed at introducing the topics of
the first two policy briefs: 1) DIYbio regulation, creative and societal change potential, and 2) Cross-
border research and cooperation for environmental sustainability.
The session aimed at creating a common understanding of the policy brief - meant as a tool for
effective evidence-based communication for the science-policy interface - and starting a
participatory process for their development, by leveraging a diversity of stakeholders beyond DITOs
partners and ECSA members.
DIYbio Regulations, creative and societal change potential
- by Lucas Evers and Pieter van Boheemen, Waag Society
The topics of the BioDesign & DIY Biology Policy Brief session included the discussion how to find a
working overarching label for the combination of general public, designers, artists and scientists
working on non-academic bio sciences as part of a wider interest of non-scientists in ‘creating'
science. It was a lively and productive discussion about the need of inclusiveness, artistic
participation, ethics, institutionalization versus grass-roots, waste, safety and security issues beyond
the ‘bioterrorism’ nonsense, transparency and last knowledge about legal rules of what is allowed
and what not and where to find advise.
19
The discussion was both diverse and lively and overarched many points that will be addressed in the
eventual policy brief. The grass roots organizations and the organizations that have grassroots groups
in house warned to identify the productive powers of CS and put emphasis on diversity, access,
inclusiveness, transparency, ethics, reciprocity and avoid over-institutionalization, criminalization and
not take facilitation of these groups to light-heartedly.
How can DITOs strengthen Citizen Bio Sciences by offering support for
grassroots groups to be facilitated but not over-institutionalized; to
be creative but also supported in creating quality; work safe without
being criminalized; get access to knowledge, information and
technology to do its own research and work with its own questions?
Diversity. Citizen science movement encompasses a rich diversity. For example, the thousands of
people that take part in a museum night are quite different from the duo doing TLC (thin layer
chromatograph) analysis of metabolites on an open community lab day. This observation is the
starting point of DITOs and the project includes a similar rich diversity of activities directed towards
specific subgroups of the Citizen Science movement. In the session in Berlin we clearly observed
citizen, design, artistic interests in approaches to Citizen Science.
Recognition. What indicators are used for measuring and recognizing success and impact? We are
living in a world that's dominated by market logic, and in order to play that game we need numbers -
however not only numbers that reflect a narrow capitalist market logic, but also that of more
sustainable forms.
Reciprocity & fairness. What do citizens get in return for their contribution to the commons of
knowledge? Who is benefitting from the value created by Citizen Science and how are those benefits
redistributed?
Waag Society (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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Criminalization. Everywhere I go to speak about DIYbio the second question has to do with terrorism
or security. This foolish discussion is seriously hampering the progression of the movement. This
topic needs to be addressed nonetheless, just like "regulation" and other ways of "restriction", but
enough has been said in other policy briefs already. I am not a big fan of code of conducts, because
the narrative of "trust us, because we will take care ourselves" is incorrect. Any critical audience
would demand oversight by an independent party, not by the practitioners themselves.
Inclusiveness. What groups within society are able to take part in Citizen Science, and how to enlarge
this group?
Transparency. Insights in the process of knowledge production and the motivations behind research
topics. This counts for both institutional as Citizen Science.
Affordability. Academic science has its traditional ways of spreading knowledge through publications
and conferences. Entrance fees and submission fees are often covered by grants. A similar structure
is needed for Citizen Science.
Quality. A major concern in all sciences regarding Citizen Science is the issue of quality and reliability.
Access. The worst I experienced was a Citizen Science meeting at the JRC center in Ispra, an invitation
only event, where I had to hand in my passport, go through scanners, and was not allowed to walk
around the building without supervision. Clearly, the organizers of Citizen Science events must be
more careful in selecting venues. Access to infrastructure is also important, perhaps a step beyond
the current Science Shops model.
Advocacy/Representation. In what way is Citizen Science represented? Is the fragmented nature of
the movement the cause for overlooking the impact?
Funding. From my perspective, the EU is much more progressive in funding Citizen Science than
national funding bodies, but perhaps that is different in each country.
Responsibility. Whose responsibility is it to ensure Europe has a science literate society? What kind
of obligations and morality is associated with this responsibility? Are citizen scientist solving the
issues that academy should?
Permissions. An additional point related or overarching criminalization, access and responsibility is
permission. In the Berlin session we spoke about the rules and regulations that exist in all member
states of the EU where it comes to working with chemicals, pathogens, technologies that require
safety measures. Must we and can we create an overview of such regulations in a manner useful for
Citizen Science and does it help or hinder the development of Citizen Science?
Based on these conversations, it was discussed to re-orient the policy brief that is to be written. The
current suggestion is: Citizen Bio Sciences - advise how to facilitate bottom up non-academic
research. Including biohacking, bio arts, bio design and citizen bio sciences research.
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Cross-border cooperation for environmental sustainability
- by Pawel Wyszomirski
Cross-border research and cooperation for environmental sustainability is a very wide topic. During
the workshop held at the end of the round table, the discussion was narrowed to cross-border
research and cooperation within the European Union in field of Citizen Science.
Commonly, such cross-border research and cooperation are supported under EU programmes like
Horizon 2020 or the previous Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes for Research and
Technological Development (FP6 and FP7). Examples within FP7 include several projects under the
category “Citizen Observatories” focusing on the themes of Citizen Science and environmental
sustainability (e.g. CitiSense, Omniscientis, CobWeb, WeSenseIt). Additional instrument for smaller
actions are research networks under the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
programme. Finally, an important player for such cooperation in the field of Citizen Science has been
recognized in the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA), which is a forum for European-wide
discussions and actions on the topic.
Currently, the EU has started discussions for the preparations of the next (9th) Framework
Programme, most likely to cover the period 2021 2027. Therefore, it is crucial that future policy
recommendations on cross-border research and cooperation for environmental sustainability are
identified.
Cross-border cooperation for environmental sustainability in the field
of Citizen Science is not only on cheap data collection by ordinary
people but on engagement of them and their communities
in active research.
Discussion
During the workshop challenges faced by the Citizen Science community on the topic of cross-border
research and cooperation in Europe were discussed. Challenges can be grouped in four key themes -
1) stakeholders, 2) policy & methodology, 3) infrastructure & data management, 4) funding.
Two main stakeholders groups were addressed: scientists and citizens interested in scientific
research. In order to facilitate cross-border research and cooperation for scientists it will be
important providing networking opportunities among key players, including different communities
e.g., NGOs. Main challenges for citizens that were discussed regarded strategies of engagement in
research projects, communication, and the recognized need for tackling cultural differences to allow
cross-border cooperation.
Participants acknowledged that Citizen Science is not only about data collection but also about
working with communities. Therefore, policy should be opened to a wide range and informed by
evidence of best practices on different aspects in the field of Citizen Science e.g. education,
technology, community building.
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Infrastructure and data management is another key topic when talking about cross-border research
and cooperation. A common standard for data management was claimed during the discussion, as it
can be crucial for an efficient coordination of data collection and data sharing between different
projects.
Another issue highlighted by participants is the common concern that Citizen Science is often
considered a tool to reduce costs of research. Scientist should not look at Citizen Science projects
merely as a method for low-cost collection of data, as such outlook could have very negative
outcomes in the long-term, discrediting the different values and impacts that Citizen Science has on
research, education, society and policy.
The workshop closed with proposals for further actions. The draft policy brief on cross-border
research and cooperation for environmental sustainability developed within the DITOs project will be
consulted at EU wide scale. Several different stakeholders will be consulted, including non-science
stakeholders and grassroots. The policy briefs that will be produced in DITOs, will potentially include
policy recommendations at different levels to be introduced in period 2012-2027.
8 Synthesis
The round table facilitated a crossing of perspectives between stakeholders of Citizen and DIY
Science from science, civil society, communication, government, art and business that altogether
drew up a broader view on potentials and needs of participatory research practices.
Dual Relationship between RRI and Citizen Science
Relations between RRI and CS/DIY Science were a mayor thread of discussion throughout the round
table. Two directions need to be considered: (1) CS and DIY Science can be seen as a form of
Responsible Research and Innovation because they facilitated public participation in research. An
example was provided by the Citizen Sense project. It co-created an air pollution monitoring kit with
residents at fracking sites and promoted the use of CS data as input for decision-making and policy
processes regarding environmental problems. Another one can be found in activities at Technarium,
where hackers develop tools for CS with the aims of enabling new research and making projects
more accessible. Participants noted that as CS is becoming more popular with funders now, it needs
to be emphasized that CS is more than data gathering - education, technology and community
building are integral parts of participatory research practice and need to be accounted for. On a
similar note participants voiced the common concern that CS is often considered a tool to reduce
costs of research. Scientist should not look at Citizen Science projects merely as a method for low-
cost collection of data, as such outlook could have very negative outcomes in the long-term,
discrediting the different values and impacts that CS has on research, education, society and policy.
(2) The second direction of the relationship between CS/DIY Science and RRI was aptly expressed by
Daniel García, who highlighted that Citizen Science is supposed to be responsible because it already
takes lay people on board. However, RRI goes further and invites us to consider whether our Citizen
Science projects are responsible enough”. He drew attention to questions on levels of inclusiveness,
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diversity, responsiveness that CS/DIY Science projects could ask and pointed to the RRI Toolkit for
further resources on how to implement more “responsible” research and innovation practices in CS.
Based on his reflections on responsibility in the field of transdisciplinary research, Thomas Völker
pointed out that since there is no such thing as a single coherent and unified version of
transdisciplinary research just as there is no Citizen Scienceresponsibility can only be considered
and made productive in practice if the diversity of CS and DIY Science approaches and the local
contexts of projects are taken into account.
The RRI concept as presented by the
European Commission (2016) is based on the
six pillars public engagement, open access,
gender equality, ethics, science education.
These were used to explore RRI further
regarding specific questions for CS and DIY
Science, good examples and challenges in a
World Café and several interactive sessions
(Table 1). During the discussions it became
clear that inclusiveness is a key field in this
interplay which has to be explored in more
detail. Also the expert group on policy
indicators for responsible research and
innovation came to the conclusion, that
sustainability as well as social justice and
inclusion are necessary overarching areas of
RRI (EC 2015). Sustainability refers to the
broader picture of flows, ecosystem services
and human wellbeing, social justice means that social groups equally benefit from research (EC
2015). It can be assessed how far researchers consider impacts of their research on social justice, and
whether concrete steps are taken to enhance social justice or avoid negative consequences.
Regarding indicators, it was recommended in the discussion to focus on quality, not on quantity, so
as to take into account that research done in cooperation with communities has special needs.
This collection of material provides a basis for further discussion within the CS and DIY Science
communities and DITOs work in that area. In the DITOs project itself, RRI is addressed as part of the
project evaluation (DITOs Consortium, 2016, Table 5.2). Concrete means to enhance inclusiveness
and to evaluate its impact on social justice are an important next step.
References
DITOs Consortium (2016) Doing It Together science: Terms of reference and evaluation templates. UCL, London.
European Commission (2015) Indicators for promoting and monitoring Responsible Research and Innovation Research and
Innovation. Report from the Expert Group on Policy Indicators for Responsible Research. Directorate-General for
Research and Innovation. http://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/pdf/pub_rri/rri_indicators_final_version.pdf
(12.04.)
European Commission (2016) Resonsible research and innovation.
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/responsible-research-innovation (access
28.12.2016).
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Table 1: Dimensions of RRI, indicators and points from round table discussions.
Dimensions of RRI
(EC 2016)
Indicators (EC 2015, selection)
Important points from round table discussions &
remarks for DITOs
Public Engagement
with Science
Dimension policies: public
influence on research agendas;
Dimension events: museum
visits; Citizen Science initiatives;
Dimension competence building:
training activities
Involvement of people in research is important,
especially when affected by a problem, and can also
save money for public authorities.
Challenges:
Involving citizen scientists in making decisions from
the beginning of projects on so research aligns with
needs of people.
Reciprocity & fairness. What do citizens get in return
for their contribution to the commons of knowledge?
Who is benefitting from the value created by Citizen
Science and how are those benefits redistributed?
Create sustained interest over longer terms.
Good examples: OPAL combining bottom-up and
top-down engagement
DITOs intends to develop evaluation schemes for the
event types exhibitions, online activities, cafés &
seminars, and workshops.
Open Access
Data repositories that include
explanation and commentary to
facilitate use
CS projects should try to make collected data as
openly accessible as possible, except for sensitive
personal and environmental information.
Challenges:
Address question Does open science mean
companies will make profit with our findings without
having to pay anything for accessing our results,
methods and data?
Infrastructure and data management is another key
topic when talking about cross-border research and
cooperation. A common standard for data
management would be helpful.
While in environmental monitoring open access to
data is key, for the DIYbio scene open access to
methodologies should be considered, too.
Transparency beyond open access & open data -
Insights in the process of knowledge production and
the motivations behind research topics.
Gender Equality
Gender equality plans;
percentage of woman as
principle investigators;
perception of gender believes
DITOs seeks to address gender in its reporting and
evaluation procedures. The will also be a policy brief
on gender and inclusiveness.
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Ethics
Mechanism for multi-
stakeholder / transdisciplinary
processes of appraisal of ethical
acceptability
Two important points where ethics is relevant are
volunteer work as unpaid work and bioethics.
In addition to ethics, differences in national
regulations on molecular/synthetic biology have
been discussed, e.g. on working with chemicals,
pathogens, technologies that require safety
measures. Must we and can we create an overview
of such regulations in a manner useful for Citizen
Science and does it help or hinder the development
of Citizen Science?
It was also highlighted that security needs to be
discussion without criminalizing DIYbio protagonists.
Science Education
RRI training; projects with
educational resource
deliverable; projects registered
at www.scientix.eu
Education is both a prerequisite and an output of
Citizen Science projects.
Challenges:
Different levels of interest of participants, cultural
barriers, time available and resources in general.
Training for researchers in science communication as
need to work to openness.
Regarding the sustainability of CS projects, if CS
endeavors are to continue after the funding period
of a project, it should be more than only about data.
There must be a follow-up where the citizens
themselves keep the education process on.
Good examples: science shops, student universities
Information on RRI will be offered in the DITOs
framework; a study on barriers to implement RRI
from the researchers perspective may be helpful,
too.
(Inclusiveness &
Social Justice)
(calls and projects considering
social justice)
Challenges:
Lacking social, economic & cultural diversity of CS
projects. More open institutions.
Good examples: DIY Science spaces and hackspaces
for their horizontal organization.
DITOs should develop clear policies and
recommendations on enhancing inclusiveness as key
approach for social justice. A policy brief on gender
and inclusiveness will be prepared.
(Sustainability)
(monitoring of stocks, ecosystem
services and human wellbeing as
part of the socioecological
metabolism of the EU /world)
BioDesign as well as environmental monitoring are
chosen as key thematic topics for DITOs in order to
enhance sustainability
26
CS and DIY Science
It was stressed that it is critical to invest time in establishing links and better understanding roles of
the different stakeholders and actors in CS and DIY Science, such as communities, universities,
funders and policy makers. The round table showed that there are different perceptions about the
role of citizens, science, and the value and type of interactions in Citizen and DIY Science. While
especially parts of the DIYbio community consciously chose some distance to institutions for
implementing their projects, there have been other examples, such as in the cases of lichen and
mosquito monitoring, showing how fruitful such co-operations between citizen scientists and
research institutions can be. It is important to take this diversity of approaches into account, the
DITOs escalator is one attempt to do so. Roots for common ground between CS and DIY Science were
seen in similar goals and ethos. However different labels, as noted by Egle Ramanauskaite self-
ascribed or not, sometimes prevent productive discussions. One option is rather not to focus on
definitions but on exchanging experience on the work that is conducted in projects. Improving
relationships between grassroots communities and scientific institutions was identified as a need for
further action. A mayor tension that makes such relations difficult is seen between paid and unpaid
contributions to science, and the form of acknowledgement. This is true both for work done in CS
and DIY Science projects as well as for co-operation between these communities. For further
exploring these relations, it is important to create accessible spaces for exchange. Locations,
schedules, money need to be considered here as well as transparent and open planning.
Follow-up Points for DITOs Policy Engagement and ECSA Development
Continue analysis of the different policy frameworks (RRI, Open Science, etc.), their meaning
and potential for the strategic development of Citizen Science. In addition to follow up with
work on RRI, this is especially needed for Open Science as many aspects that are discussed
within CS communities are overlapping, e.g. indicators of success and impact, infrastructure
needs, business models, access to research processes and results. Another reason is that
Open Science has become a major focus of European research and innovation policy and CS
is seen as an integral part. However in this context, CS is mainly perceived as ways for
collecting and analyzing large amounts of research data, while a broader view of CS activities
as well as consideration on how CS can enhance the impact of research remain vague.
Examine closer needs regarding long-term sustainability of CS as well as cross-border
cooperation, especially regarding funding, support and legitimacy, stakeholder engagement,
infrastructure and data management, and reciprocity. Specific points for action and further
investigation have been identified:
o Creating communication channels and infrastructure for sharing of results and
methods within CS community.
o Engaging local and national government authorities to support CS and carry out pilot
projects and support recognition of CS in policies.
o Providing networking opportunities among key players, including different CS and
DIY Science communities as well as stakeholders.
o Recognition of complimentary roles for CS and traditional academia in the scientific
endeavor, with funding schemes adapted to enable access by community
stakeholders.
27
o Community support structure for CS akin to academic science’s traditional ways of
spreading knowledge through publications and conferences where entrance fees and
submission fees are often covered by grants.
o Better relationships with institutions for funding support and access to facilities,
equipment and training.
o Adapting indicators and evaluation criteria, where relevant, to specific affordances of
CS and DIY Science. Take responsibility of research, including social justice and
environmental sustainability into account.
o Official validation and recognition of the value of CS, both for participating
communities and academics.
Continue engaging with DIYbio communities. Jointly analyze and work on tensions, e.g.
typical ones (paid vs unpaid volunteers) and specific ones (bioethics). The need for improving
relationships and communication between grassroots and institutions and for networking
opportunities emerged several times during the round table discussion. DITOs should follow
up here. Projects and activities run by ECSA also have the potential to contribute here by
exploring collaborative approaches and leveraging resources for the benefit of the members.
This is one of the scopes of DITOs, which in fact provides multiple opportunities to link its
objectives and planned activities with ECSA working groups. ECSA should also continue its
work on inclusiveness regarding the CS communities and stakeholder it addresses, and in
the organization of own activities, e.g. time and venues need to be accessible to citizen
scientists. Voices that are perceived to be lacking are those of volunteer participants and
volunteer organizers. Continue critical discussions on representation and advocacy work
against this background.
Refining the definition of the term BioDesign appears useful at least for use in DITOs,
although different communities may use the term for different purposes (see for instance
the relationship of DIYbio and art). The current definition proposed by DITOs uses a triangle
of research-science-engineering, but the biological dimension of it is unclear. A clear
understanding would be helpful, especially since synthetic biology is very much linked to new
technologies and public interest/participation is still an emerging field.
28
9 List of Participants
Surname
Name
Organization
Agnello
Gaia
ECSA & DITOs
Asai
Lena
DITOs
Askwall
Cissi
VA (Public & Science)
Baiz
Imane
UPD
Berditchevskaia
Aleksandra
Tekiu Ltd
Blanco
Chema
Medialab / Rado
Borsalino
Guiseppe
European Commission
Brocklehurst
Martin
Kempley Green , ECSA Policy WG
Christina
Christina
Institut für angewandte Forschung IFAF Berlin
Dekker
Ron
European Commission
De Lutz
Christian
Art Laboratory Berlin
Elbing
Kerstin
German Life Science Association (VBIO e. V.)
Faltus
Timo
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Fellermann
Arne
Horizon project hackAIR
Feutlinske
Fabian
Biomimicry Germany e.V./ phi360
Franzen
Martina
WZB
Galiay
Philippe
European Commission
Galvez
Beatriz
Berlin Science Week
Garard
Jennifer
Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change
García Jiménez
Daniel
La Caixa Foundation
Geoghegan
Hilary
University Reading
Gmajner
Simon
Kapelica Gallery
Göbel
Claudia
ECSA & DITOs
Goepel
Eberhard
GesundheitsAkademie e.V.
Huwe
Björn
ScienceShop Potsdam (WilaP)
Khodzhaeva
Antonina
Ecsite
Kiss
Gabriella
Corvinus University of Budapest
Klenke
Reinhard
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
Krpan
Jurij
Kapelica Gallery
Krueger
Tobias
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Labeeuw
Annick
Centre for Genomic Regulation/ Stick out your tongue (CRG)
Lipinski
Marc
CNRS
Luna
Soledad
ECSA
Mari Saez
Almudena
Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health-Charite Berlin
Mascarenhas
Andre
ECSA & LandSense
Mateo Penas
Alfonso
Individual
Matrai
Silvia
Hospital Clínic de Barcelona
Mazzonetto
Marzia
Individual
Nunes
Maria
State Festival
Palceco
Carole
RBINS
Patterson
Lucy
SHD Berlin
Pritchard
Helen
Citizen Sense
29
Rapp
Regine
Art Laboratory Berlin
Ramanauskaite
Egle
Citizen Science Coordinator & PIO at Human Computation Institute
Riousset
Pauline
Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung
Rössig
Wiebke
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
Runnel
Veljo
University of Tartu Natural History Museum
Schroth
Fabian
Fraunhofer Center for Responsible Research and Innovation
Serrano
Fermin
Fundacion Ibercivis
Steinhaus
Norbert
WiLa Bonn
Thauer
Guenter
TBS
Trojok
Rüdiger
Synenergene
Vohland
Katrin
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin & ECSA
Völker
Thomas
JRC
Wandl-Vogt
Eveline
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Weiand
Laura
Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Wessolowski
Iris
Wila Potsdam - Sciencekompass - openMINT
Wolf
Eric
Individual
Wyszomirski
Pawel
Eco21
Ziegler
David
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
30
... After the removal of these responses we ended up with 137 responses, 67 for self-led events and 45 for expert-led events. Respondents were asked to indicate the likelihood of the below statements:11.a : Take part in similar future events 11.b : Join a wildlife group/charity/biodiversity project 11.c : Promote such initiatives & encourage others to participate 11.d : Encourage wildlife in your garden/your surrounding areas 11.e : Spend more time outdoors11.f : Learn more about local wildlife ...
... Respondents were asked to indicate the likelihood of the below statements:11.a : Take part in similar future events 11.b : Join a wildlife group/charity/biodiversity project 11.c : Promote such initiatives & encourage others to participate 11.d : Encourage wildlife in your garden/your surrounding areas 11.e : Spend more time outdoors11.f : Learn more about local wildlife ...
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Indicators for promoting and monitoring Responsible Research and Innovation Research and Innovation
European Commission (2015) Indicators for promoting and monitoring Responsible Research and Innovation Research and Innovation. Report from the Expert Group on Policy Indicators for Responsible Research. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. http://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/pdf/pub_rri/rri_indicators_final_version.pdf (12.04.)