Research & Innovation

The rise of Citizen Science in the international arena: A dialogue between Clàudia Fabó and Prof. Muki Haklay

Citizen Science has been bubbling beneath the surface for some time and is reaching now a growing presence and influence in the scientific and participation scenario, locally and in the global context.

Focussing on the international scene, Clàudia Fabó Cartas and Prof. Muki Haklay conversate in this new podcast episode on the level of recognition and relevance of citizen science, its growth, the institutions promoting it, the challenges to be faced, and its expected futures.

Looking at the European Union sphere, both Fabó and Haklay point out the rapid boost of Citizen Science due to its recognition by national and international funding bodies, in academic publications and so on. This goes along with a positive attitude towards science among citizens and a growing interest among the scientific communities and the general public of involving non-scientist in research and innovation. And despite it all, Citizen Science is still largely unknown for many science communicators, researchers, and scientists.

Celebrating this interest in citizen participation in science, both interviewees lead the conversation towards the need of training and consciousness on how to do Citizen Science to ensure interoperability, quality of data, mutual trust, commitment and ethical practices. Many challenges arise due to its novelty regarding how science has been conducted traditionally. Likewise, there are many reasons for fostering Citizen Science.

As Fabó outlines, democratic societies very much rely on science and research, scientific data, and evidence to inform the decisions that affect governmental policies and, at the end of the day, the lives of all of us. Therefore, Citizen Science promotes democracy when citizens participate in the process of scientific research and science projects respond to the societal needs and priorities. In this sense, the interviewees point out the advocacy role of the European Union institutions with the embeddedness of public engagement in science in EU programs, sending a signal that influences member states, higher education institutions, and the wide variety of stakeholders forming the research and innovation systems.

  • Clàudia Fabó Cartas

    Clàudia Fabó Cartas

    Project Officer at the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA)

    Clàudia Fabó Cartas is a political scientist by training having specialised in political theory who has since turned her attention towards citizen science. She is currently working as a project officer at the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) involved in several European Union-funded projects. She represents ECSA in Cos4Cloud, which aims to boost technologies for Citizen Observatories to increase the quantity and quality of citizen science data. From August 2022, as the project manager of the European Citizen Science (ECS) project, Claudia will have the chance to widen and strengthen the European citizen science community through capacity-building and awareness-raising activities.

  • Muki Haklay

    Muki Haklay

    Professor of Geographic Information Science and co-director of the Extreme Citizen Science group (ExCiteS) at University College London

    Muki Haklay is a professor of Geographic Information Science at University College London and a team lead at the Learning Planet Institute, Paris. He is internationally recognised for his work in the world of Citizen Science, a field with which he has been involved for over a decade. During his professional time, he has taken part in numerous research projects and authored and co-authored over 250 academic papers, including five books, 40 chapters in edited collections, 80 peer-reviewed journal publications and a further 45 refereed conference papers, many of them revolving around the practice of Citizen Science. Haklay is the co-director of the Extreme Citizen Science group (ExCiteS) at UCL, and the associate editor-in-chief of the journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.


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