Citizen science oxford jul14 v final

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Presentation from Barnaby Smith, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology Media Relations Manager given at the British Ecological Society Citizen Science Special Interest Group meeting, July 2014

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Citizen science oxford jul14 v final

  1. 1. Action through media engagement Barnaby Smith Media Relations Manager Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  2. 2. A brief history: The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the media and “citizen science” With lessons learnt on the way…
  3. 3. Springwatch 2005 People across the UK were asked to record the arrival of spring in their neighbourhood, by noting arrival dates, Bumblebees, Peacock butterflies, the 7-spot ladybird and the Swift. The largest such one-off survey in the world (at that time).
  4. 4. 2005 - The early years
  5. 5. 2009 - Becoming famous (for 15 mins) 'Ladybird, ladybird: Unravelling the story of an alien invader' Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2009 Lots of Press coverage: On the day most of the press coverage occurred, 30 June, www.harlequin- survey.org received over 5000 visitors, a 20-fold increase from normal visitor numbers.
  6. 6. Lessons learnt (1) – media engagement • Take advantage of every opportunity (and follow up) • Reply immediately to journalists • Don’t be scared of live TV and radio (although being a little nervous helps!) • Don’t take things personally (e.g. when dropped/misquoted) • Have a plan (even if you have to change it!)
  7. 7. 2010 - BBC Breathing places
  8. 8. 2011 – “citizen science arrives at CEH” First mention of “citizen science” on our website 18 May 2011
  9. 9. 2012 – On the farm
  10. 10. 2014 – Springwatch (again!)
  11. 11. Lessons learnt (2) • Work out what success is (and stick to the definition) • Be proactive (but not pushy) • Be flexible (but use your resources and time wisely) • Be creative (but recognise some things works and some things don’t)
  12. 12. #brc50
  13. 13. #brc50 - BBC online
  14. 14. #brc50 –BBC Online – the headline
  15. 15. 2014 - Big Bumblebee Discovery
  16. 16. What has changed?
  17. 17. Lessons learnt (3) • Think about your audience(s) - what do you want to achieve • Take care of your ‘citizens’ (it’s their time and you should act responsibly) • Remember the ‘human’ element (to engage media and wider public) • (most of…) the media will believe what you tell them – so be careful how you use this power!
  18. 18. WHY BOTHER TO ENGAGE WITH THE MEDIA? BECAUSE IT’S A GREAT WAY TO REACH OUT TO CITIZEN SCIENTISTS
  19. 19. and it’s fun!
  20. 20. Questions? With thanks to Helen Roy, Michael Pocock, many CEH scientists past and present, all our partners, the funding agencies and of course…the tens of thousands of citizens who have participated in the projects over the years

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