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Step Change | Science Transformation in Europe through Citizen involvement in health, conservation and energy research

It explores and boosts the potential of citizen science for advancing knowledge and innovation in five fields.

STEP CHANGE will implement five Citizen Science Initiatives (CSIs) in the fields of health, energy and environment. The CSIs will tackle the issues of wildlife conservation in Slovenia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the UK, energy communities in Germany, infectious disease outbreak preparedness in Italy, and off-grid renewable energy in agriculture in Uganda.

The project, launched in March 2021, will draw on the expertise of 11 partners from 7 European countries and Uganda, to increase the mutual responsiveness of science and society while boosting the capacity of scientific investigation over phenomena that cannot be completely seized within conventional disciplinary boundaries.

STEP CHANGE builds on the assumption that citizen science can play an even broader societal and scientific role than is generally acknowledged. The overall objective of the project is to explore the potential of citizen science and to formulate recommendations and instruments for better cementing this approach within R&I institutions as well as changing researchers’ mindsets on its value.

ECSA activities and milestones

To support the spread of citizen science, the project will design a Citizen Science Navigator, a web-based tool that will collect theoretical and practical insights about different citizen science applications. The aim of the project is to ensure that research institutes make the most of what citizen science has to offer, whilst also identifying, analysing, and limiting the associated risks.

To maximise its impact, STEP CHANGE will make use of a multifaceted methodology not only fostering alignment with local contexts, but also nurturing mutual learning, encouraging self-reflection, and performing participatory evaluation exercises.

François Jost Project officer
Simona Cerrato Communications and Community Manager