Citizen Science «Zurich Style»

The activities of the Citizen Science Center Zurich focus on exploring, supporting, and promoting Citizen Science. Citizen Science is a form of public participation in scientific research (where “citizen” denotes a member of the general public, independent from citizenship) that has been around for more than a century.

Example: In the Galaxy Zoo project, hundreds of thousands of citizens have helped astronomers classify millions of images of galaxies coming from international telescopes (2007 – 2017)

Public participation in science is a practice that works across many disciplines and that comes in different flavours and with different names, including community based research, crowd-sourced data collection, community-based monitoring, civic science, and more. What characterizes Citizen Science is the collaboration of professional scientists and citizens, the active involvement of both, and the engagement of citizens in potentially all phases of the research process.

In Zurich, we promote this participatory approach, and support projects that bring citizen and academic scientists together. In these projects citizens are aware of all phases of the research process, are able to make an informed decision on the phases they want to take part in, and have an easy channel to share this decision with academics.

Zurich has a long tradition in many forms of participatory research. You can see some of the projects from the past here.

Next Generation Citizen Science

The main goal of scientific research, including Citizen Science projects, is to produce excellent science to advance our understanding of the world we leave in. We strongly believe that it should also empower society with a form of actionable understanding, ie. with the opportunity to produce data for change.

The Citizen Science Center Zurich Center aims at supporting next generation Citizen Science, ie. projects that use the latest collaborative technologies and the highest quality standards to produce excellent science and quality open data that can help citizens, communities and governments to move toward a more sustainable world.



The Citizen Science Center wants to develop and implement projects that reflect the highest standards possible in term of scientific rigor, data security, and ethics.


The Center aims at developing an active and productive participation at the different phases of the scientific research project, from funding allocation, topic selection, and research design, to execution, interpretation, and dissemination of results.


The Center adheres to the principles of open science (open access to data and publications) and operates in a fully transparent manner, ensuring that the public benefits from our work.


We want to ensure continuity in project support and knowledge dissemination. Therefore the development and maintenance of a community including both scientists and citizen scientists associated with the Center is vital.

Benefits of Citizen Science

For Scientists

The methodology offers Scientists the potential to tackle research questions with large datasets on a wide geographical area. It also allows for a much more dynamic and interactive approach to the formulation of hypotheses, research design, and data analysis.

For Citizens

With their volunteer activity, Citizens increase their knowledge and literacy about the topic studied, gain insight into the scientific process and method, and acquire new technological skills and abilities.

For Society

For the benefit of the wider SOCIETY, outcomes of Citizen Science projects include community development and empowerment, change of attitudes and behaviours, and renewed engagement in policy making.

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