The Science of Citizen Science

12. January 2021by Tim Woods

A new open-access book, ‘The Science of Citizen Science’, is now available. Published by Springer, it features contributions from more than 100 authors, including several ECSA staff and members.

“This book is a wonderful conclusion of four years of intensive exchange within a European research network on citizen science,” says Dr Katrin Vohland, Director General of the Natural History Museum Vienna and first editor of the book. “At the same time, it signals a beginning, as its curriculum-like structure gives universities and others the opportunity to reflect on both the substantive contributions to research and the societal added value of citizen science. In addition, it offers practical support for implementing projects, and also addresses emerging topics such as citizen science and artificial intelligence.”

The book is a culmination of the work of the COST Action ‘Citizen Science to promote creativity, scientific literacy, and innovation throughout Europe’. As part of this COST Action, scientists, practitioners and representatives of several organizations discussed various issues related to citizen science. These included:

  • the quality of citizen science, which refers to both the data and the involvement of citizens
  • ontologies of citizen science, so that international platforms can better exchange and use synergies
  • educational aspects, for example trade-offs for teachers who would like to offer real-life research examples to their students but also have to follow their curricula.

Questions such as how citizen science can contribute to environmental monitoring or societal transformation were also addressed. This new book draws together the results of these discussions.

The target audience is the international citizen science community: scholars, practitioners and especially universities. The book should make it easier for academia to adopt individual aspects of citizen science into their curricula, or even establish courses or professorships focused on citizen science.

Cover Artwork: SPOTTERON Citizen Science | www.spotteron.net
@SPOTTERON

Tim Woods