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Citizen science for community development


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Public Lecture given at National Museums Scotland as part of the CitSciEd crowdsourcing and citizen science event. The talk gives a whistlestop introduction to the different types of citizen science, drawing on examples from theory and practice before debating the political and ethical implications for scientific research and sustainable community development when the public get involved. References, resources and links are provided at the end.

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Citizen science for community development

  1. 1. Citizen Science for Community Development @erinmaochu #citizenscience
  2. 2. Constructing scientific communities:
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  4. 4. Can volunteers doreal research?What about thedata quality? Can volunteers doreal research?What about thedata quality? Help! I am nottrained to do thisas a scientist. Help! I am nottrained to do thisas a scientist.
  5. 5. Policy relevance Typology & history Cost effectiveness Improved productivity Quality assurance measures Maintaining engagement Making best use of data Wentworth 2014
  6. 6. Professor Muki Haklay, Extreme Citizen Science Group University College London Haklay M 2013
  7. 7. Definitions/ Approaches #citizenscience Public participation in science, usually unpaid, by groups & individuals Working at the 'edge’ – making use of resources through collaboration (Carolyn Kagan, 2007) Citizen science, valuable approach to scientific discovery for monitoring the environment (Roy et al, 2013)
  8. 8. Social vs scientific value Community Building Awareness & Stewardship Recognition of citizen participation Cost effectiveness Improved productivity Quality assurance measures Maintaining engagement Making best use of data Freitag 2013 & Tweddle et al 2012
  9. 9. 1. Crowdsource number patterns in nature dataset 2. Engage 3000 people from Greater Manchester 3. Learn about Turing & how number patterns work in sunflowers 4. Provide a media story
  10. 10. What did people do? http://www.Sallyfort.com
  11. 11. Ethical challenges Banks, S. (et al) (2013) 1. Partnership, collaboration and power 2. Blurring the boundaries between researcher and researched, academic and activist 3. Community rights, conflict and democratic representation 4. Ownership and dissemination of data, findings and publications 5. Anonymity, privacy and confidentiality 6. Institutional ethical review processes
  12. 12. Everyday Ethics Banks, S. (et al) (2013) An approach to research that is based on a commitment to sharing power and resources and working towards beneficial outcomes for all participants, especially ‘communities.’ Embedded in the research process: attitudes, ethos, ways of working, relationships 1. Mutual respect 2. Equality and inclusion 3. Democratic participation 4. Active learning 5. Making a difference 6. Collective action 7. Personal integrity
  13. 13. • Biology before steel and diesel • Holistic approach • Designed to empower owner of tool to use, modify and improve • Designed for transparent function • Modularity • Adaptability • Design for Disassembly • Design with replicability in mind • Use of “off the shelf” or commonly available components, or components that are or can be repurposed Farm hack Design Principles
  14. 14. #robotorchestra #mcr Image: MSI
  15. 15. The Manchester Robot Orchestra • A citizen engineering project that will use redundant/recycled technology to create a robot orchestra that sounds good together and even better with real musicians • Harness the ingenuity of Greater Manchester & beyond • Inspire the next generation to care about the environment through making music • Share and celebrate our collective effort
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  18. 18. Carolyn Kagan 2007 Fostering an ecological edge
  19. 19. Social vs scientific value
  20. 20. Innovative communication
  21. 21. Principles •1. Mutual respect •2. Equality and inclusion •3. Democratic participation •4. Active learning •5. Making a difference •6. Collective action •7. Personal integrity Professor Sarah Banks, Durham University Everyday Ethics
  22. 22. Guide to citizen science & when and how to use citizen science
  23. 23. References Cagan, K (2007) Working at the Edge, Psychologist, Vol 20, part 4, pp224 - 227 Roy, H.E., Pocock, M.J.O., Preston, C.D., Roy, D.B., Savage, J., Tweddle, J.C. & Robinson, L.D. (2012) Understanding Citizen Science & Environmental Monitoring. Final Report. NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Natural History Museum on behalf of UK-EOF. 175pp Tweddle, J.C., Robinson, L.D., Pocock, M.J.O & Roy, H.E. (2012). Guide to citizen science: developing, implementing and evaluating citizen science to study biodiversity and the environment in the UK. Natural History Museum and NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology for UK-EOF. Riesch H, Potter C and Davies, L (2013) Combining citizen science with public engagement: the open air laboratories programme. Journal of Science Communication 1 – 18; 4/JCOM1203%282013%29A03/JCOM1203%282013%29A03.pdf Frietag, A, Pfeffer, M.J. (2013) Process, not product: Investigating Recommendations for improving Citizen Science "Success". PLoS ONE 8(5): e64079. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064079 Banks, S. (et al) (2013) 'Everyday ethics in community-based participatory research', in Contemporary Social Science: Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences Fort S (2012) Independent evaluation of the Turing’s Sunflower project. Stock, Ruth Maria, Pedro Oliveira and Eric von Hippel (2013) “Impacts of Hedonic and Utilitarian Motives on the Novelty and Utility of User-Developed Innovations.” MIT Sloan School of Management working paper (SSRN) Wentworth J (2014) Environmental Citizen Science – POST Note
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  25. 25. #citizenscience