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Co-design of citizen science
experiments
Enric Senabre Hidalgo - Dimmons (UOC/IN3)
Josep Perelló - OpenSystemsBCN (UB)
Isabelle Bonhoure - OpenSystemsBCN (UB)
Context: degrees of engagement in citizen science
● Usually citizen science projects consider collaboration between scientists and
“amateur” participants as mere “contributory systems” (Wiggins &
Crowston, 2015)
● Follet and Strezov (2015) classify citizen science projects according to the
type of voluntary participation:
a. Contributory projects: participants take part in data gathering, analyze the data at certain
points in the project and help disseminate the results.
b. Collaborative projects: as well as the above, the participants analyze samples and (on
occasions) help design the study, interpret data, draw conclusions or disseminate the results.
c. Co-created projects: the participants collaborate in all stages of the project, including the
defining of the questions, development of hypotheses, discussion of results and responding to
further questions that might arise.
Context: co-created citizen science approach
● Bonney et al. (2009) point to the need to go beyond the contributory model of
citizen science and involve the volunteer in the design process of the
research, in ways that are more deliberative and accessible.
● Importance of understanding the co-created modality of citizen science as
“participatory science” or “civic science” (Wylie & al., 2014).
● Connects with methodological and pragmatic challenges to develop a “co-
production framework” or “language of co-production” in research
(Jasanoff, 2004) and the “participatory turn” in scientific studies (Jasanoff,
2003).
Meta-research questions
● Can co-design* contribute to a more collaborative form of citizen science?
● How can science integrate social needs and concerns in its early design?
● How can transdisciplinary work be coordinated to construct scientilfic
knowledge collaboratively?
[*] Important conceptual difference in design thinking between “co-creation”
(generic process of collective creativity) and “co-design” (set of specific
participatory design techniques), the latter being a specific feature within the
broader co-creation field (Sanders & Stappers, 2008).
Embedded case study
● Part of the STEMForYouth (stem4youth.eu) initiative, a European project of the
Horizon 2020 programme that aims to encourage young people to study
science and technology.
● 12 sessions to co-design citizen science experiments about human behaviour with
3 groups of teenagers (95 in total) attending secondary schools in Barcelona
area (Spain) that covered a range of socio-demographic contexts.
● Co-design process based on a toolkit developed ad-hoc for the project, in
dialogue with the scientific team (5 people), reviewed/polished after each session.
● Results of co-design: one experiment related to perceptions of public space and
infrastructure in the city, another to gender and discrimination, and a third
experiment concept centered on inequality and immigration.
“ColMeth” toolkit (v1.2)
Description of the co-design process
● Sessions took place in secondary school settings following 4 stages: (a) the
problem to be addressed, (b) research questions, (c) conceptual
diagram and (d) planning the tasks for executing the experiment.
● Use of the toolkit was guided by the research team acting as
co-facilitators, to connect concepts and clarify doubts.
● Main facilitator provided a framework for the work in order to achieve some
informal yet specific ways to generate and present visual information, in
accordance with participatory design practices (Kensing & Blomberg, 1998).
● The aim in each session was to perform a divergence and convergence
sequence (Brown & Katz, 2011).
During the co-design sessions
Example of a co-design result (research diagram)
Setting of the experiments
Analysis: clustering questions with key concepts
Table 1: Research questions and key concepts in citizen science and co-design
Research questions Key related concepts
Citizen
science (Shirk
& al., 2012)
Co-design
(Sanders &
Stappers,
2008)
Survey
question
number
Discussed in
interviews
Can co-creation contribute to a
more collaborative form of citizen
science?
Motivation X X Q11 X
Generation of options
(divergence)
X Q8 X
Quality of results X Q5 X
How can science integrate social
needs and concerns in its design
and communication dynamics?
Involvement X Q1 X
Trust and credibility X Q6 X
How can interdisciplinary work be
coordinated to construct
knowledge collaboratively?
Coherent sequencing X X Q7 X
Facilitation roles X Q4 X
How has knowledge been
developed in this citizen science
co-creation experience?
Quality of
participation
X Q10 X
Decision taking
(convergence)
X Q9 X
Power relations X Q3 X
Motivation to do the experiment and satisfaction with
the experiment co-design
Students’ perception of their integration in the
co-design process
Valuation of the sequencing and the facilitation of the
sessions
Keys for the development of knowledge during the
co-design
● “the design process arose when the themes were decided and a genuine concern
emerged”
● “each result was closely related to the way in which the participants perceive society
and the problems of their surroundings”
● “in the end, it is a question of finding a balance between democratizing science and
the experience of the scientists”
● “the toolkit fulfilled the main objective to provide a common language that reflected
ideas that would later be selected”
● “challenge to maintain this spirit of co-creation and transparency alive in the
following collaborative phases of production, execution and analysis of results”
● “new things can be introduced at the last minute. Allowing for some room for
maneuver is a good idea”
● “these co-creation techniques can be transferred to any scientific project design, and
can help to channel scientific discussion”
From interviews (5) with scientific team
Thank you!
esenabre@uoc.edu
@esenabre
@opensystemsub

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Co-design of citizen science experiments

  • 1. Co-design of citizen science experiments Enric Senabre Hidalgo - Dimmons (UOC/IN3) Josep Perelló - OpenSystemsBCN (UB) Isabelle Bonhoure - OpenSystemsBCN (UB)
  • 2. Context: degrees of engagement in citizen science ● Usually citizen science projects consider collaboration between scientists and “amateur” participants as mere “contributory systems” (Wiggins & Crowston, 2015) ● Follet and Strezov (2015) classify citizen science projects according to the type of voluntary participation: a. Contributory projects: participants take part in data gathering, analyze the data at certain points in the project and help disseminate the results. b. Collaborative projects: as well as the above, the participants analyze samples and (on occasions) help design the study, interpret data, draw conclusions or disseminate the results. c. Co-created projects: the participants collaborate in all stages of the project, including the defining of the questions, development of hypotheses, discussion of results and responding to further questions that might arise.
  • 3. Context: co-created citizen science approach ● Bonney et al. (2009) point to the need to go beyond the contributory model of citizen science and involve the volunteer in the design process of the research, in ways that are more deliberative and accessible. ● Importance of understanding the co-created modality of citizen science as “participatory science” or “civic science” (Wylie & al., 2014). ● Connects with methodological and pragmatic challenges to develop a “co- production framework” or “language of co-production” in research (Jasanoff, 2004) and the “participatory turn” in scientific studies (Jasanoff, 2003).
  • 4. Meta-research questions ● Can co-design* contribute to a more collaborative form of citizen science? ● How can science integrate social needs and concerns in its early design? ● How can transdisciplinary work be coordinated to construct scientilfic knowledge collaboratively? [*] Important conceptual difference in design thinking between “co-creation” (generic process of collective creativity) and “co-design” (set of specific participatory design techniques), the latter being a specific feature within the broader co-creation field (Sanders & Stappers, 2008).
  • 5. Embedded case study ● Part of the STEMForYouth (stem4youth.eu) initiative, a European project of the Horizon 2020 programme that aims to encourage young people to study science and technology. ● 12 sessions to co-design citizen science experiments about human behaviour with 3 groups of teenagers (95 in total) attending secondary schools in Barcelona area (Spain) that covered a range of socio-demographic contexts. ● Co-design process based on a toolkit developed ad-hoc for the project, in dialogue with the scientific team (5 people), reviewed/polished after each session. ● Results of co-design: one experiment related to perceptions of public space and infrastructure in the city, another to gender and discrimination, and a third experiment concept centered on inequality and immigration.
  • 7. Description of the co-design process ● Sessions took place in secondary school settings following 4 stages: (a) the problem to be addressed, (b) research questions, (c) conceptual diagram and (d) planning the tasks for executing the experiment. ● Use of the toolkit was guided by the research team acting as co-facilitators, to connect concepts and clarify doubts. ● Main facilitator provided a framework for the work in order to achieve some informal yet specific ways to generate and present visual information, in accordance with participatory design practices (Kensing & Blomberg, 1998). ● The aim in each session was to perform a divergence and convergence sequence (Brown & Katz, 2011).
  • 9. Example of a co-design result (research diagram)
  • 10. Setting of the experiments
  • 11. Analysis: clustering questions with key concepts Table 1: Research questions and key concepts in citizen science and co-design Research questions Key related concepts Citizen science (Shirk & al., 2012) Co-design (Sanders & Stappers, 2008) Survey question number Discussed in interviews Can co-creation contribute to a more collaborative form of citizen science? Motivation X X Q11 X Generation of options (divergence) X Q8 X Quality of results X Q5 X How can science integrate social needs and concerns in its design and communication dynamics? Involvement X Q1 X Trust and credibility X Q6 X How can interdisciplinary work be coordinated to construct knowledge collaboratively? Coherent sequencing X X Q7 X Facilitation roles X Q4 X How has knowledge been developed in this citizen science co-creation experience? Quality of participation X Q10 X Decision taking (convergence) X Q9 X Power relations X Q3 X
  • 12. Motivation to do the experiment and satisfaction with the experiment co-design
  • 13. Students’ perception of their integration in the co-design process
  • 14. Valuation of the sequencing and the facilitation of the sessions
  • 15. Keys for the development of knowledge during the co-design
  • 16. ● “the design process arose when the themes were decided and a genuine concern emerged” ● “each result was closely related to the way in which the participants perceive society and the problems of their surroundings” ● “in the end, it is a question of finding a balance between democratizing science and the experience of the scientists” ● “the toolkit fulfilled the main objective to provide a common language that reflected ideas that would later be selected” ● “challenge to maintain this spirit of co-creation and transparency alive in the following collaborative phases of production, execution and analysis of results” ● “new things can be introduced at the last minute. Allowing for some room for maneuver is a good idea” ● “these co-creation techniques can be transferred to any scientific project design, and can help to channel scientific discussion” From interviews (5) with scientific team