Supporting Citizen Science in Academia and Beyond

Thu, 16.1.2020, 9:30–18:00

ETH Zürich Main Building, Rämistrasse 101, HG E1.2

Citizen Science is increasingly part of the scientific and policy conversation in Switzerland and beyond, and has attracted institutional and private investments. However, Citizen Science comes in different forms, involving different degrees of collaboration between the general public and professional scientists, and different levels of quality for the produced scientific result.

Universities have an interest in academic-quality processes and results, and play a key role in supporting those activities and projects – defined in the literature as “co-created” – that maximize the collaboration between citizens and scientists in all phases of the research process. Such projects allow both communities to take full advantage of participatory research approaches.

Mainstreaming academic-quality and co-created Citizen Science implies providing universities and funding bodies with clear structures, processes and guidelines. The Citizen Science Center Zurich and the Participatory Science Academy invite you to a workshop in Zurich on 16 January 2020, to discuss the basis for a common strategy to promote co-created Citizen Science in Switzerland. The outcome will be used to inform further dialogues at a dedicated conference later in 2020.

The Registration is closed.


Welcome coffee

Welcome from UZH
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert, Deputy President & Vice President Education and Student Affairs UZH
Welcome from ETH
Prof. Dr. Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations ETH
Setting the scene: Swiss Academies view
Claudia Appenzeller, Secretary General, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
Introduction to academic (co-created) Citizen Science
Prof. Dr. Mike Martin, Competence Center – Citizen Science, Chair of the Board of Directors

Workshops Round 1 (4 workshops in parallel)

1) Motivations and incentives for researchers:
CS adoption may seem to come at extra-cost for researchers, who then need valid reasons to embrace the methodology. This workshop will discuss the core motivators and incentives from a researcher perspective, exploring the balance between efforts and benefits of adoption.
Moderator: Susanne Hecker (Room: E33.3)

2) Infrastructures:
CS beginners can easily be discouraged by the lack of knowledge on methodologies and the perceived complexity of required tools. Support infrastructures at the institutional level could be envisaged, or maybe a Swiss-wide “Citizen Science Faculty” is the answer. This workshop will discuss the kind of infrastructure we should be contemplating.
Moderator: Rosy Mondardini (Room: E33.1)

3) CS in curricula:
A big component of mainstreaming CS in research is about strengthening knowledge and competencies in CS in higher education. However, most researchers have a very basic understanding of the methodologies. This workshop will explore the reasons and the ways to integrate CS in tertiary curricula.
Moderator: Hannah Lora Freeman, Expert input: Prof. Laure Kloetzer (Room: E 21)

4) Early career perspective on CS (Part 1):
At the beginning of an academic career, CS adoption may raise many doubts (cost, efficiency, openness, length, …) This workshop will explore young researchers’ views and perspectives on such issues.
Moderator: Dr. Claudine Leysinger, Expert input: Prof. Dr. Jan Seibert (Room: E23)


Setting the scene: swissuniversities view
Prof. Dr. Michael Hengartner, President UZH
Setting the scene: SNSF view
Michael Hill, PhD. Deputy Head of Strategy, Swiss National Science Foundation

Workshops Round 2 (3 workshops in parallel)

5) Funding for Academic CS:
Despite being a research methodology, CS is often perceived as a communication and science outreach activity, which generates a conflict in terms of funding schemes and sources. This workshop will discuss strategies and investigate funding schemes to mainstream CS as a research approach at different scales.
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Mike Martin (Room: E21)

6) Evaluating CS:
Mainstreaming CS requires an agreed and transparent evaluation framework, which should consider the different dimensions of CS projects and include scientific impact, empowerment of participants, education, learning and impact to the wider society. This workshop will explore possible evaluation processes and criteria to define a successful CS project.
Moderator: Dr. Clemens Mader (Room: E33.1)

7) Early career perspective on CS (Part 2)
(see Part 1)
Moderator: Dr. Claudine Leysinger (Room: E23)

Reports from the workshop discussions - Final remarks and way forward
Prof. Dr. Mike Martin and Prof. Dr. Michael Ristow, Chairs of the Board of Directors, Competence Center – Citizen Science


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