The European Commission through its Horizon 2020 programme, with support from the Swiss confederation, have committed almost €4m to a three-year project to increase public participation in scientific research and innovation across Europe. The 11-partner project, co-ordinated by UCL Extreme Citizen Science group, aims to build the institutional and policy foundations for sustained deep public engagement in science and technology in Europe that enables people to contribute at a level of participation suitable for them, whether that is engaging in face-to-face community meetings , using a crowdsourcing app to log air quality or working in a citizen biolab.
“Doing It Together” Science (DITOs) will implement many innovative participatory event formats across Europe focussing on the active involvement of citizens in two critical areas: the cutting edge topic of biodesign and the pressing area of environmental monitoring. The project will advance the EU Responsible Research and Innovation agenda by moving beyond more traditional approaches into direct engagement that builds upon DIY, grassroots, and frugal innovation initiatives so that in the short and medium term we sustain localised capacity building and in the long term the effects of these grassroots efforts channel into policy action at different levels. A central element of the project is the ‘escalator’ model of engagement, in which people can enter at a level of participation that matches their needs, interests, and abilities, while also encouraging them to move beyond. In keeping with this, exhibitions, workshops, support for existing organisations, and guidelines to share the ingredients of successful projects are also part of the long-term project plan.
The consortium includes a pan-European network (European Citizen Science Association ECSA - linking practitioners, scientists, and supporting policy makers), SMEs (Tekiu; Eutema), universities (UCL; Universite Paris Descartes; University of Geneva), science galleries, museums and arts organisations (Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova; Medialab-Prado; RBINS) and NGOs (Meritum Association; Waag Society). These organisations cross multiple countries and languages, enabling coverage of much of Europe in its native languages. At UCL, central coordination for DITOs as well as events, analysis and research will be provided by the UCL Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) group.
Follow updates on the project here: http://togetherscience.eu/ and through #togetherscience
ECSA’s Role within the DITOs project
ECSA will lead the work package on Policy Engagement for Responsible Research and Innovation, and cooperate closely with consortium members in the other areas, especially on Environmental Sustainability, Biodesign, and Communication.
The project team will update ECSA members and partners regularly on DITOs and on ways to engage with the project. Among (many) other activities, we’ll reach out to you for inputs on and participation in:
For any question on ECSA in DITOs, please get in touch with Claudia Göbel.