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How inclusive is Citizen Science?

three young people using a telescope

For the third edition of its newsletter, EU-Citizen.Science decided to tackle the crucial issue of inclusion and talked with several experts in order to understand how inclusive is the citizen science field at the moment and how this situation could be improved.

 

First, Emily Dawson explained in her interview her reasons why this fight against exclusion and inequality should be a priority in every science engagement initiative, reasons that are already discussed in her book Equity, Exclusion and Everyday Science Learning.

"For me, doing science communication without being inclusive is pointless. If we do so, we are agreeing to create things for people who already have what they need, and to exacerbating inequalities and the gap between privileged and under-privileged audiences."

 

Then, Taru Peltola addressed the specific case of Citizen Science and described the project that was detailed in the chapter "Science for everybody? Bridging the socio-economic gap in urban biodiversity monitoring" in the book Citizen Science – Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy.

"Engaging people with science and policymaking is envisioned to have a double impact: policies become more acceptable and understandable, and it also empowers people."

 

Finally, Shara Fisler talked about the situation in the US by mentioning the Ocean Discovery Institute that she founded and that is exclusively focused on engaging underrepresented minorities.

"In the US, unfortunately, we are still at the very beginning in terms of effectively including underrepresented minorities in citizen science, and most of the groups or communities are not invited to participate in science – just because we don’t create opportunities for them."

 

Every four months, the EU-Citizen.Science joint newsletter addresses an issue relevant to the Citizen Science field, as well as sharing news from several EU-funded citizen science projects: ACTION, CitieS-Health, CoAct, CS Track, D-NOSES, EnviroCitizen, MICS, REINFORCE and WeCount.

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Tags

  • citizen science
  • EU-Citizen.Science
  • Emily Dawson
  • Taru peltola
  • Shara Fisler