Citizen social science - solving social challenges


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How can citizen science solve social challenges?

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  • "The bottom rungs of the ladder are (1) Manipulation and (2) Therapy. These two rungs describe levels of "non-participation" that have been contrived by some to substitute for genuine participation. Their real objective is not to enable people to participate in planning or conducting programs, but to enable powerholders to 'educate' or 'cure' the participants. Rungs 3 and 4 progress to levels of 'tokenism' that allow the have-nots to hear and to have a voice: (3) Informing and (4) Consultation. When they are proffered by powerholders as the total extent of participation, citizens may indeed hear and be heard. But under these conditions they lack the power to insure that their views will be heeded by the powerful. When participation is restricted to these levels, there is no follow-through, no 'muscle,' hence no assurance of changing the status quo. Rung (5) Placation is simply a higher level tokenism because the ground rules allow have-nots to advise, but retain for the powerholders the continued right to decide. Further up the ladder are levels of citizen power with increasing degrees of decision-making clout. Citizens can enter into a (6) Partnership that enables them to negotiate and engage in trade-offs with traditional power holders. At the topmost rungs, (7) Delegated Power and (8) Citizen Control, have-not citizens obtain the majority of decision-making seats, or full managerial power." [1]
  • In a letter to his art dealer brother, Theo, wrote, the sunflower is mine… that was until, last year I got involved in a project called Turing’s Sunflowers….
  • The Turing’s Sunflowers project team. Professor Jonathan Swinton, Computation Biologist came up with the idea and approached Natalie Ireland at MOSI as director of Manchester Science Festival. Science communicator and digital producer, Dr Erinma Ochu, produced the project working with Natalie, Jonathan & a range of other partners.
    These figures show the scope for wider participation in terms of events outside of Greater Manchester. For our next citizen science project, Hooked, we want to better involve other Science Museum Group venues.
  • The partnership with the BBC meant it was easy to get content straight to news rooms at media city. The results were reported online for example by BBC Manchester and included a selection of the video diaries.
  • Additional partners that put on events, spread the word and supported the project. Key to the social media strategy was the partnership with BBC Outreach… who helped us with the crowdsourcing campaign.
  • Just a few examples of what people did, and not just digital…. Artists’ spear fish were inspired by TS to create a giant baby with a sunflower headress for the day parade
  • The final evaluation by sally fort revealed what people did… and they didn’t just grow sunflowers… alongside the media reach of the project, social sharing and contributions through events, blogging and giving talks and creating learning resources was critical to success.
  • Choir sung a specially composed fibonacci song so people could hear what the number patterns sounded like
  • Add images of games, experiments, mobile etc from the poster
  • Enter Kirstin from the Kindling Trust. The Kindling Trust are an NGO that support Greater Manchester to become more sustainable in terms of production and activism to achieve change and helping a city to feed itself
    The Kindling Trust have mapped local, seasonal and organic food network around manchester – imagining that in the light of climate change and growing food prices, we need to know where we can source food without ruining the planet.
  • Kirstin had heard about this New York project– 596 acres – which went out and mapped empty lots – usually between buildings – that allows people who want to grow food to find people nearby who want to do the same. Then people are encouraged to get together and make it happen. Getting rid of the rats, bringing in soil, and applying for funding to equip the garden.
  • At the same time, in Sheffield – Danny at Grow Sheffield had been wondering the same question – and their members of the Grow Sheffield food network had also been mapping out local, seasonal and organic.
  • Participants walked around Old Trafford in Manchester, taking photos and recording vital statistics,  such as aspect, water supply, security, and surface materials, for any site they thought could be used for food growing,. Sites identified included ginnels, grassed over areas, derelict plots and unloved nooks ad crannies.
  • To map growing spaces in Old Trafford, we used crowdmap – an open source platform by Ushahidi – often used for mapping crisis around the world. In Old Trafford, 26 people found 82 sites over 2 walks where food could be grown in land totalling around 5.2 acres. That’s a lot of space for a lot of vegetables and potentially quite a few jobs could be created to farm the land.
    One of the things that Farida wondered as a research was what synergy there might be between the open data community and the grow your own community – both have this perspective of a commons – shared land, shared resources –
    In Sheffield.. They used google map – here’s the map of their walk…
  • So one of the most powerful things for me in envisaging this shared goal around growing urban food and using mapping as a lo-tech way to achieve that – we used pens, paper maps, cooking and talking…
    Ordinary citizens, doing extraordinary things not waiting for the people in power tell us no.
  • Thanks to all the partners & to Imran/ farida for inviting me to speak
  • Salvatore Iaconesi
  • 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.
    Cohn, JP (2008) Citizen Science: Can Volunteers Do Real Research? BioScience 58: 192-197.
    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
  • Citizen social science - solving social challenges

    1. 1. Citizen Social Science @erinmaochu
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Research Method with social value Citizen Science • As an instrument for social impact…. & social change • Collective intelligence Benefits & Impact • Quality of Life • Improved decision making • Enhancing curriculum content & informal learning • Enhanced research advocacy
    4. 4. Haklay, M. (2013) Participation levels
    5. 5. Ladder of Participation Arnstein, S (1969)
    6. 6. …the sunflower is mine… Van Gogh 1880 …the sunflower is mine… Van Gogh 1880
    7. 7. 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
    8. 8. What did people do? http://www.Sallyfort.com
    9. 9. Open Voice Community ChoirOpen Voice Community Choir
    10. 10. Patterns in Nature
    11. 11. Edgy #citizenscience Working at the 'edge’ – making use of resources through collaboration (Carolyn Kagan, 2007)
    12. 12. “If we work together in the garden, maybe we can work together in crisis…. Dig In!” Wendy Brawer
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Music Cognition Group
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Ladder of Participation Arnstein, S (1969)
    17. 17.
    18. 18. Challenges & Opportunities • Ethics • Data quality assurance • Additional resource - funding • Recognition of public contributions • Measuring impact – did we make a difference to people’s lives? • Open science: democratising science & access to science, data & journals
    19. 19. Available online: & also tools: Citizen Cyberlab portal – tools & projects: Ethics
    20. 20. 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
    21. 21. 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
    22. 22. References Haklay, M. (2013). Citizen science and volunteered geographic information: Overview and typology of participation. In Crowdsourcing Geographic Knowledge (pp. 105-122). Springer Netherlands. Arnstein, Sherry R. "A Ladder of Citizen Participation," JAIP, Vol. 35, No. 4, July 1969, pp. 216-224. 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
    23. 23.