UTDesignLabNewsExploring the power of collaboration and Engagement: Citizen Science 4 Health Conference Recap

Exploring the power of collaboration and Engagement: Citizen Science 4 Health Conference Recap

The recent Citizen Science 4 Health conference held at the University of Twente was a unique opportunity that brought together diverse
individuals with a shared goal: to explore, discuss, and inspire collaboration in citizen-led health science. It was an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas and insights. The event was initiated by the Working Group Citizen Science for Health, of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA).
Kicking off with a remarkable prelude, the conference dedicated a special day tailored for Dutch-speaking citizens, courtesy of Radboud UMC, Radboud Fund, University of Twente and Foundation Mijn Data Onze Gezondheid. This inclusive initiative welcomed a wide array of participants, including researchers, students, policymakers, citizens, societal organizations, and companies, fostering a rich blend of perspectives and experiences.

The official opening celebrated the opportunity to be together, building bridges, sharing different viewpoints, emphasizing the collective journey into citizen science. Instead of a typical conference setup; keynote lectures delivered by esteemed experts were complemented by interactive spaces for workshops, solution rooms, posters, and showcases. This event stood out by exploring topics like personal medicine, ethics, and public health.
A focal point of discussion revolved around the involvement of patients in health research. While patients have historically played a role in research, their impact on decision-making in research questions, methodologies, and data management has been somewhat limited. Citizen science, however, shows great promise in changing this and contributing to innovate health research and society as a whole.

The conference’s distinctiveness lay in its collaborative and transdisciplinary approach, where individuals from varied backgrounds shared and learned from one another. Attendees seamlessly transitioned between roles, blurring the lines between speaker and audience, fostering an inclusive environment for
exploration, learning and sharing. The conference culminated with the Incentive Conference, a special event that combined two major projects, Incentive and Time4CS. This final gathering focused on how to bring citizen science into research institutions under the theme “Science with and for Citizens”. Key
speeches, discussions, and inspiring talks were part of this meeting, emphasizing the importance of incorporating citizen science into European universities.
This event targeted the broader European Citizen Science community, building upon the momentum of the Citizen Science 4 Health Conference. It served as a pivotal moment for fostering collaborations and exploring innovative approaches to embed citizen science into research institutions.

In essence, the Citizen Science 4 Health conference demonstrated the power of collaboration, diverse perspective, and the potential of public-driven science to reshape health research and society for the better.

opening conferenceOpening conferenceDutch dagGaston RemmersOpening
Opening Conference Citizen Science 4 Health
Opening by Sabine Wildevuur
Day for Dutch citizens and patients
Presentation by Gaston Remmers
Presentation by Vinod Subramaniam
A lot of interaction and sharing thoughts