It is considered one of the major topics in UT's new strategy Shaping2030: strengthening ties between science and education and society. There are undoubtedly numerous ways to achieve this; citizen science is one of them. We would like to invite you for the kick-off of the Shaping Expert Group Citizen Science on Friday 20 November from 11h till 12.h.
Early societal involvement
As the societal relevance of our research should be tangible, one could argue it is rather strange that often, we only have citizens take part in the latter stages of a research project. Citizen science is something that can evolve either bottom-up (from within society) or top-down (initiated by scientists). The term citizen science refers to an equal basis for collaboration in tackling societal challenges using scientific methods.
Not a goal but a means
Citizen science in itself is never a goal. It may be supportive as it forces new questions to be asked, new insights being brought to the table and, at the same time, increases the self-learning ability of our society. Even in academic fields where you least expect it, the involvement of citizens can be of great value. Together, we would like to explore these opportunities, as it helps us bridge the gap between science and society.
Towards an equal collaboration setting
In a way, citizen science is not a new phenomenon: various principles of citizen science are being deployed in existing research projects. Sometimes, we might not always recognise them. What is new, is the fact that citizen science is in the spotlights of latest developments, in particular for the fact that citizens and their expertise are genuinely considered equal and take their share within the research project. There is also more attention to the role of citizens in various stages of research and to ensure the added value for both.
Shaping Expert Group Citizen Science
From the Shaping2030 strategy, six so-called Shaping Expert Groups have been formed: teams of experts from various fields that will boost developments within the organisation. They will be connecting initiatives, share knowledge within the organisation and support new projects to arise. During the kick-off of the Shaping Expert Group Citizen Science, we would like to inform you about the next steps. But we need you in defining how, where and when we can benefit from these opportunities.
Citizen Science Conference
The online kick-off will take place before the open conference 'Let's go together: shaping the future of Citizen Science'. This conference will be held on Friday 20 November from 13h till 15h en is being broadcasted from the DesignLab. Various national and international experts from science and society will share their views, opinions, tips and tricks. For more information about the conference, you may visit the website. You are very welcome to take part in the conference as well, in which the new UT Citizen Science Hub will be launched.
Sabine Wildevuur, sponsoring dean Shaping Expert Group Citizen Science
Renske van Wijk, Shaping Expert Group lead