Citizen Science


European Citizen Science Association

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Welcome to ECSA

We are the
European Citizen Science Association

What is the European Citizen Science Association?
Take part or become an ECSA member
Find out about our projects
Learn more about ECSA membership
All about our working groups
Read about our upcoming events

Latest news

06-08 Sept: ECSA2020 Conference POSTPONED to September 6-8 due to COVID-19
06-08 Sept: ECSA2020 Conference POSTPONED to September 6-8 due to COVID-19
06-08 Sept. 2020 | Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency underway in Italy, Europe and worldwide, we have decided to postpone the conference to September 6-8 (same location).
Cos4Cloud: a European project to revolutionize the technology of citizen science
Cos4Cloud: a European project to revolutionize the technology of citizen science
The European Union promotes Cos4Cloud, an ambitious project that will create cutting-edge technology services to improve citizen science platforms.
Help locate newly discovered black holes in the LOFAR Radio Galaxy Zoo project
Help locate newly discovered black holes in the LOFAR Radio Galaxy Zoo project
Scientists are asking the public to help find the origin of hundreds of thousands of galaxies, which have been discovered by LOFAR, the largest radio telescope ever built.
Apply to host the next ECSA events
Apply to host the next ECSA events
Would you like to host our next General Assembly or Biennial International Conference? Check the following documents to find information on how to

We are

The European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) was set up to encourage the growth of citizen science in Europe, and to support the participation of the general public in research processes – across science, social science, humanities and the arts.

ECSA is a membership association that brings together researchers, practitioners and citizens who want to increase the democratization of knowledge production. We are open to both individual and organizational members; currently, our hundreds of members come from countries across the European Union and beyond.

ECSA supports its members by coordinating citizen science projects, performing research on citizen science, and exchanging experiences and capacity-building. Most of our activities are led by members, and often organized through our thematic working groups. These working groups rely on volunteers, who commit their time and expertise to our activities.

In addition to these activities, ECSA engages in research and coordination projects, and acts as a communications hub for citizen science in Europe. These tasks are led by the ECSA team, which has its headquarters in Berlin, generously provided by the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. We also have satellite offices in Brussels and Leiden.

ECSA was launched during the EU Green Week in 2013, emerging from an informal network of researchers and communicators interested in citizen science in Europe. It interacts with groups and disciplines that already have, or want to build, a stronger connection to citizen science, through activities in European Framework Programme projects (such as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe). ECSA also advocates for citizen science, contributing to policy briefs, the open science policy platform and helping to develop good practice principles in citizen science.

ECSA is a non-profit association governed by a board with six members, including two chairs, and all members are elected for two years. Board elections and other governance issues are discussed during ECSA’s annual general assemblies, which are usually held alongside other citizen science events – such as the bi-annual ECSA conference.

The first ECSA conference was held in Berlin in 2016, with a second held in Geneva in 2018. They are an opportunity to accelerate knowledge-sharing across the organization and beyond, and to engage the host city in citizen science. ECSA conferences are the flagship event in the European citizen science calendar, and a major opportunity to showcase new projects, lessons learned and research findings. They also enable citizen science practitioners from around the world to network with one another.

ECSA is part of a growing network of citizen science organizations worldwide, and is a founding member of the Citizen Science Global Partnership. ECSA also supports and interacts with the growing number of national, regional and local associations and networks in Europe.

All these activities rely on a community of practitioners and researchers who want citizen science to thrive. We are always open to new members – so come and join us!

What is
citizen science?

Citizen science is an ‘umbrella’ term that describes a variety of ways in which the public participate in science. The main characteristics are that: (1) citizens are actively involved in research, in partnership or collaboration with scientists or professionals; and (2) there is a genuine outcome, such as new scientific knowledge, conservation action or policy change. Our members developed ‘10 principles of citizen science’, which are available in a number of languages. More recently, the citizen science community, including ECSA members, developed the ‘Characteristics of citizen science’.

Citizen science takes place in diverse fields, including ecology, astronomy, medicine, computer science, history – and many more. And citizen science can happen at a range of different scales – from local projects to continental and global scales, and from short projects to those that occur over decades!

ECSA - Colibri flying in front of green background

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